Wounded veterans use fishing as a way of healing - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Wounded veterans use fishing as a way of healing

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Wounded warriors fish along the Tennessee River Wounded warriors fish along the Tennessee River

Wounded warriors spent a weekend on the Tennessee River using fishing as a way of healing.

These guys needed to get out of the hospital and get back in to real life and they also needed some mental healing as well as some physical healing.

That's how Southern Fishing's Ronnie McDonald brought operation "Hooah" to the Shoals.

McDonald, who is also an Army veteran himself, knew the importance of healing outside of an army hospital.

McDonald said, "A lot of them have got wounds that aren't visible and those are some of the wounds that I think that going fishing can really help heal."

Over 20 wounded warriors from the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell spent the weekend fishing at Pickwick and Wilson Lakes.

For veteran Thomas Collins the weekend provided much more than just fun on the water.

Collins said, "It's really amazing that these people will put their time and their money forward for us to come out here and have a chance to do this. It really means a lot and it's a very big deal.

The 23-year-old Collins says he never got a welcome home and he's been back for three years. This comes after he spent the last three years in therapy after getting wounded on deployment.

McDonald added, "It sends a big message to the troops that yes you are important to us and we do support you."

Throughout the month of November the Marriott Hotel and Spa is offering a red, white, and blue velvet cake. All the proceeds from customers who order the cake will go directly to "Operation Hooah" in the Shoals.

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