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Fishing tournament helps honor Wounded Warriors

WINNECONNE, WI (WTAQ) - One group honored the nation's men and women who served in the military, while also spending time with them on the water.

The Wounded Warrior Project and professional fishermen teamed up for a fishing tournament for veterans on Saturday.

Veterans like Corey Richards, who was deployed to a desert, and came back with a Purple Heart for wounds to his shoulders and back.

“Spent a year in Afghanistan,” Richards, who served with the Michigan Army National Guard, but currently lives in Wisconsin Rapids, told FOX 11. “March 20 th, 2009, I ended up in a roadside bomb accident.”

Professional Walleye fisherman Jeff Nuechterlein wanted to give wounded warriors a chance to reconnect with their passion this Memorial Day weekend.

“They've sacrificed so much for us and this is the least we can do is take them out on a really nice boat like we get the opportunity to drive and treat them to a nice day of fishing out here for the weekend,” Nuechterlein told FOX 11.

Nuechterlein paired up 16 Wisconsin veterans with fishing pros with help from the Wounded Warrior Project in Chicago.

Together they started this fishing tournament on Lakes Winneconne and Poygen.

These professional fishermen showed their appreciation by taking wounded warriors out on boats this weekend. But organizers say you can show your support by thanking veterans in your area.

As for Richards, helping him catch a trophy fish like this has been the perfect way to say "thanks" for his service.

The tournament went so well this year, organizers say they hope to involve more wounded veterans and volunteer fishing pros next year.