Disabled veterans take part in fishing tournament in Danbury

DANBURY, Conn. (WTNH)– In Danbury, this is a special day for some American heroes. Disabled veterans are spending a little time out on the water fishing as a way to have some fun and bond with other vets.

For two dozen veterans like Michael Kelsey, who served in the Marine Corps, the tranquility of a day on the water at Candlewood Lake is one to cherish.

“It’s nice because it’s the only time I’m really at peace being on the water. Fishing is one of the things that saved my life,” said Kelsey.

This is the 6th year of the Tournament of Champions Fishing Tournament for disabled veterans. It was created by Joe Kowalski and he knows what a difference it makes.

“It’s just a great way to get the vets therapy, I call it. I know what it’s done for me. I figured out what I could do to help my fellow vets, poof, here we are six years later,” said Joe Kowalski, Organizer.

“I’m going up there to catch the big one and I come every year, I can’t wait,” said Rafeo Rayes, U.S. Army Veteran.

For veterans like Robert Steven Jordan, it’s all about fun, camaraderie and even a little friendly competition.

“This is something I really wouldn’t be able to do on my own volition. I really appreciate what everyone does for us. The best fisher-woman is Sheryl, she thinks it’s her, but I’m going to kick her gluteus maximus,” said Steven Jordan.

The tournament is dedicated in honor of Major Steven Roy Andrews, a B-52 pilot during desert storm. He died of a heart attack at the age of 40.

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