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Home > UNS > 140506-02



Special Operations Soldiers spend a day on the lake

by Jerry Green
USASOC Public Affairs

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service May 6, 2014) - The stillness of placid Lake Jordan in central North Carolina was interrupted early Friday morning, May 2, 2014, when more than 150 boaters teamed with 150 anglers descended on the lake as the ninth annual Warriors on the Water’s Military Appreciation Bass Fishing Tournament kicked off.

Starting at 3:30 a.m., more than 50 volunteers were on hand to assist in registering the boats and assisting the launch into the lake. Meeting the boaters at dockside were the military members from Fort Bragg and Pope Field who take part in what was to be a full day of fishing on the lake.

Waiting in the early dawn was Staff Sgt. Thaddius Dawkins, a Soldier from U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command. “It was an early show time, but you know what they say, a day on the water, will always beat a day in the office,” said Dawkins.

Of the more than 150 military members, 50 Soldiers came from U.S. Army Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operation Command.

Just after the National Anthem, two members of USASOC’s Black Daggers parachute team, landed pier side to the thunderous applause of the spectators.

Sitting alongside his boating companion and ready to catch the big one was Sgt.  1st Class Derek Baca, 91st Civil Affairs Battalion.

 “This is a great event,” said Baca, “I am honored to have this opportunity to get to do this.”

The Warriors on the Water tournament is the brainchild of a few former and current military members and local Fayetteville citizens, who on a volunteer basis give their time and generous efforts to make available a day on the lake for the servicemen. Joining them, are the volunteers, who bring their boats and fishing gear to be part of the daylong event.

“Without the volunteers this day could not happen. It was the sponsors who donated fishing gear, T-shirts and hats, food and supporting materials. This is truly a team effort,” said Hal Abshire, one of the founders of the tournament. “We have so many sponsors, volunteers and supporters—we just couldn’t do this without them. There are too many to thank, and I wouldn’t know where to start. It is all about giving the military members a chance to spend a day doing a fun thing.”

By 3 p.m., the anglers and boaters drifted in, some boasting bass fish of all sizes and weights expecting theirs to be the coveted biggest fish of the tourney. Several though, checked in with empty fishing buckets, but their smiles radiated the enjoyment of spending a day out on the lake.

“The fishing was awesome except I did not catch a thing,” said Baca. “Thanks for the opportunity, it was lot of fun. I hope I can do it again next year.”