“It didn’t matter if it was raining,” said Spc. Eric P. Valdez, a member of Fort Drum’s Warriors in Transition Battalion, which readies injured soldiers to return to their unit or retire. “It was fun.”
The group of about 50 hit the waters of Cape Vincent, Clayton, and Alexandria Bay about 8 a.m., and fished until about 1 p.m. Returning to the Clayton Town Dock about 1:30 p.m., the group was met by a collection of state police and first responders from Wellesley Island, Alexandria Bay and Clayton.
“It’s always nice to be appreciated,” said Spc. Marc A. Miranda, also from the battalion.
The fishing day was organized by New York North Country Troopers Assisting Troops, which has planned the event since its formation in April.
It was a good day for Staff Sgt. Ronald N. Vanderhall, of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., in his first time to the area, catching pike and bass during the morning.
“I’m getting hooked on fishing,” Sgt. Vanderhall said, before quickly correcting himself. “What am I saying? I am hooked on fishing.”
Sgt. Vanderhall described the morning as “real serene and relaxing.”