Fishing With Veterans

Organization Gives Back to Military Members

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Rounding up a group of guys and heading out to a frozen lake is not all that uncommon during a northern Minnesota winter.

“Yesterday morning we got into an amazing bite,” said Justin Grecco, founder of Fishing with Veterans. “Between the group, we caught a little over 150 fish.”

But the 28 men who braved cold temperatures and brutal winds to spend the past three days ice fishing on Lake Winne is not your typical group of guys.

“What we’re about is getting veterans and active–duties fishing on the lake to share those experiences, to make new friends, and to really share something we all love and have a passion for, and that’s fishing,” explained Grecco.

Fishing with Veterans is an organization that raises money to fund fishing excursions, like this one, to get military members, active or retired, old or young, out onto the ice or in the open water.

“We’ve got every aspect of life,” said veteran, Justin Bailey. “We’ve got the old–time, been there done that kind of things. They tell stories and laugh, and to see everybody just come together, it makes it all worth it,” Bailey added.

The organization kicked off unexpectedly, but in just six weeks, has grown tremendously.

“There was a vet on a Facebook page that reached out for some help, and within about three hours, a GoFundMe had started and raised him $500, and got him a new flasher and a new fish house,” Grecco told FOX 21. “We had about 10, 15 guys join right away, then about 50, then about 200, and now are close to 1,200.”

So far, the organization has raised over $20,000, strictly used to finance fishing trips and provide fishing gear for our veterans.

“They’re having a hard time and they really don’t have the will or the way to get out on the ice, so why not try to do something to give back,” said Bailey.

Because after all their service to our nation, these guys deserve it.

“Because this is what they fought for, and this is what they should enjoy,” said Bailey. 

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