Vietnam War History Presentation
Monty Murty, Past President for Forbes Trail and US Army Major (Retired), will present a history of the Vietnam war from an infantry officer’s perspective. Forbes Trail offers a fishing event each fall for area military veterans and first responders. It is intended to teach fly fishing as a means to heal the body and soul. This is part of the National TU Service Partnership program. Monty’s presentation will be Wednesday, March 13 at 6:30 at the Westmoreland Conservation District, 218 Donohoe Road, Greensburg. Preregistration is required via firstname.lastname@example.org or (724) 454-9345.
What an incredible day of fishing and camaraderie as over 40 veterans and first responders hooked and landed trout, panfish and catfish! Military veterans, first responders, Scouts and volunteers from Kinston Veterans Sportsmen Club and Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited celebrated the end of summer with a spectacular day on the water. Unfortunately, the weather was more cooperative than the trout this year. Some of the anglers spent Saturday relaxing and reacquainting with friends. Others took the fishing opportunity more seriously learning how to use a fly rod for the first time and honing their casting skills.
Veteran Fred Exley expressed, “I really want to get more into fly-fishing next year. I borrowed this rod this morning but I need to learn out to reach out further on the water with it.” Steve Shirley from Trout Unlimited was helping Fred with his casting skills, teaching how to transfer the energy from the rod to the shooting line. Trout Unlimited teaches fly fishing to veterans as a means to heal the body and soul.
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited began its program in 2018 focusing on military veterans. Partnering with Kingston Sportsmen allows ADA access to their lake stocked with trout, lunker catfish and panfish, and easy access to other facilities. This year, for the first time, they extended the invitation to local first responders. “We want to recognize first responder for their brave and dedicated service to the communities where we live”, noted Chapter President, Larry Myers.
Keith Riffle, Club VP and President of the Veterans Committee recruited many of the veterans by visiting numerous VA medical centers, VFWs and American Legions. A veteran himself, Keith explained, “We’ll do whatever it takes to provide a rewarding day on the water for our veterans and first responders.”
This was the first time many of the veterans and first responders participated in this fishing event. For others, it was time for reacquaintances. The purpose of the program is primarily to introduce veterans and first responders to fly fishing for some R&R. But if using a fly rod is not comfortable, mentors assist the veterans using whatever fishing tackle they prefer. Some veterans have actually built their own fly rods and tied their own flies.
For retired Army First Sergeant, Cynthia Butler, this was her second event and would like to see more lady veterans get involved with fishing. Cynthia and several family friends and veterans enjoyed the day, even though the fishing was more challenging this year. The water was still a little warm and the bright sun, while welcoming to the anglers, drove the trout deeper in the lake. Still, every angler said they enjoyed the beautiful fall day and are looking forward to coming back next year. As a bonus, everyone enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch and many won raffle prizes of fly rods, autographed books and gift cards. Westmoreland County Commissioner, Doug Chew was on hand to recognize both military veterans and first responders for their dedicated service to our country and communities.
Other partners were Scout Troops 465 and 305. The Scouts, as in past events, prepared and served lunch for the crowd of 120 veterans, first responders and volunteers. They also opened the event by posting colors and later held a flag retiring ceremony which the veterans appreciated. We thank our event sponsors…Home Depot, three local Giant Eagle Supermarkets, Fish USA and Bent Rods Bait and Tackle.
The partner volunteers look forward to the annual event and enjoy the opportunity to, if even for just one day a year, be able to serve those who served their country. It was another relaxing and rewarding day on the water for all involved. Trout Unlimited salutes our veterans and first responders, and thanks all of our partners and sponsors who made this all happen.
Veteran's and First Responder's Fishing Day Registration Now Open
Our Veteran’s Fishing Day date has been announced for Saturday, September 16, 2023 and registration is now open. This year, we are opening the event to First Responders as well.
You must register to participate.
To register, go to the Veteran’s and First Responders Fishing Day page, fill out and submit the form. We will email you with confirmation.
Veteran's Fishing Event Postponed
Due to an increasingly bad weather forecast calling for rain and cold temperatures on Saturday, October 1st, we have reluctantly decided to reschedule the Veteran’s Fishing Day for next Saturday, October the 8th.
All else remains the same. The event will begin at 9 am and run til 3 pm. There will be drinks, snacks and a grilled lunch served by Boy Scouts. Fishing tackle will be provided for those without their own and there will be expert mentors for those who need assistance.
Here’s hoping for nice weather and that everyone can still attend.
After over two years, we were finally able to get our third veterans fishing day in on October 2. This year, the event was held at the Kingston Club lake near Latrobe and was open to all veterans. We had beautiful fall weather, a chilly morning gave way to a sunny, warm afternoon. FTTU partnered with the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmen’s Club and Project Healing Waters with Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops preparing and serving the food. Lowe’s Latrobe donated the drinks. The lake was stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout by the Kingston Club and everyone was able to get into some fish. Mentors from FTTU and Project Healing Waters were on hand to net fish and provide assistance to those who needed help fishing. FTTU also provided loaner rods and reels, bait, lures, flies and other fishing tackle. All the veterans received raffle tickets and after lunch, prizes donated by FTTU and the Kingston Club were given out to both the veterans and some scouts.
For a full report and slide show, see the Community Service Page.
After an absence due to COVID in 2020, the Military Veterans Fishing Outing is back. This year, it will be held on Saturday, October 2nd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmans Club in Latrobe. The event is sponsored by the Kingston Club and FTTU.
The outing is open to all active duty or veterans of the U.S. military. Participants do not need to be disabled, but 30 spots are reserved for disabled vets. The event is free but you will need to register if you would like to take part. To get registered, email us at email@example.com. You can also participate as a mentor or volunteer. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact us at the same email address.
Fishing will be done on the club’s lake for stocked trout and panfish. No fishing license is required and all tackle will be provided by FTTU. Volunteer mentors will be on hand to provide help for the disabled and instruction to those who would like to learn to fly fish. A grilled lunch will be served by the local Boy Scout Troop.
We have held this event in 2018 and 2019 and it has been an extremely successful and fun day. See the Community Service page for a report from 2019 and a slide show. Hope to see you there!
Sad to report that our Veterans Outing scheduled for May 2 at the Kingston Sportsmen’s Club has been canceled and tentatively rescheduled for May, 1, 2021. The family outdoors event scheduled for May 31 at Keystone State Park has also been canceled.
We will not be having a May meeting, but we may go ahead with the litter pick-up on May 6 if Penn Dot will still haul away the trash. We would all have to keep spread out. For now all clean ups are on hold. Check back here for updates.
FTTU officers and directors will be keeping in touch with each other via emails and video conferencing and will continue to plan for the future.
Some good news, two of three area Trout in the Classroom programs have released their fish and the third has the school principal feeding the trout and the fish will be released soon.
Trout fishing is still on but members are encouraged to follow common sense social distancing protocol, travel to the stream in separate cars, and bring your own drinks and lunches. Of course, most of us prefer to get as much space to ourselves as we can on the stream so that’s helpful for proper stream etiquette. See the PAF&BC guidelines in the previous post.
So, until we meet again, be careful, stay healthy and stay informed on FTTU news with forbestrailtu.org.
FTTU’s 2nd annual Disabled Vets Fishing Outing was a big success.
We had a great weather and a a good turn out of veterans and volunteers.
The fishing was good and everyone had a great time.
See the full report and a slide show on the Community Service Page.
You can help support FTTU’s Veterans Programs by buying and selling fund raiser buttons. The buttons are $5.00 and all proceeds will benefit our disabled vets fishing outing and any future events with veterans.
Contact us about obtaining a bag of buttons to sell to your fishing buddies, family and neighbors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pick up some buttons to sell at our March meeting on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.
FTTU’s Disabled Veterans Fishing Outing is set for May 11, 2019 at the Foggy Mountain Lodge.