Healing Waters: Disabled vets find joy in fishing with comrades

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An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day. To help alleviate the pressure, Thursday morning a local group named Operation North State took wounded veterans on a fishing trip.

The event is called the Lake Norman Top Shelf Fishing Festival.

"Being on the water gives me a sense of peace. There’s nobody around, you’re enjoying God’s creation and you’re catching fish,” said Brian Ebert, who’s attended the event for the last four years.

He says the event helped save his life.  

“I was in a very bad place in my life to the point I had a gun in my mouth,” he said. “Fishing and the outdoors literally saved my life.”

The event was founded five years ago.

“We do all we can to help our veterans and that’s what this event is all about today,” said Terry Snyder, the group’s and event’s founder.

The day begins before sunrise and as the sun comes up, the idea is so with the veterans’ spirits.

“They carry some pretty significant demons with them every day and to get out on the water and enjoy the day, take a little stress off,” said Mike Scott, a veteran and volunteer.  “We get to see the good, the bad and the ugly if you will, so its nice to have a day like this where we can go out and not have a care in the world and just enjoy yourself.”

Sixty-five wounded veterans went out on the water.

“Taking one vet fishing in a bad spot can save their life, so I’m grateful,” said Ebert.

For more on Operation North State click here