Lake Denmark 'HOW' Event Big Success

After a very cold, very snowy and seemingly endless winter, we were back out on the water with the first HOW – Heroes On the Water – event of 2015. It was held at Lake Denmark in northern Jersey. Although not exactly on the base, Lake Denmark is part of Picatinny Arsenal. It is a fairly large lake but not very deep. The deepest I read on my fish finder was about 6 feet.

My day started when the alarm started sounding off at 4:30 a.m. A quick stop for some coffee, then I was on the road and I arrived at the lake around 6 a.m. It started off rather chilly, so I got my waders out just in case they were needed for launch at 9 o’clock.

Before we launched we had some breakfast and more coffee followed by a captains meeting. After all the Vets arrived, we had a general meeting for everybody. There was a raffle for a rod I built and donated. I am very happy that my friend Gene Gribble won it. I also got my HOW challenge coin. The coins are given out to volunteers who have been to at least 10 events. I am very happy and proud to say that this event was number 12 for me. And I hope to attend many, many more.

Air Force Veteran Gene Gribble in his kayak, preparing for a day of fishing on Lake Denmark. (Sean Gavin photo)

I did not launch right away; I was assisting in the launching of all the Vets. I made sure everybody was out before I launched. All the coaches – formally called guides – were paired up with Vets, so I just paddled around to assist, if needed. I did manage to fish a little. I caught four pickerel and lost four others.

I came in about 1:15 p.m. for lunch. Once again Civic Duty Partners had an awesome spread for lunch. My plan was to eat and go back out. I ate and had a cold drink and headed back to the kayak. But by the time I was ready to go back out some of the guys were packing everything up. Then I realized it was Sunday and I have to go to work the next day.

We had great weather for a day of kayak fishing with our ‘Heroes On the Water’ at Lake Denmark. (Sean Gavin photo)

I think just about everyone caught at least one fish. Once again there were many smiling and happy faces all around. I had a great day. I got to see some friends that I haven't seen since before the winter, met some friends in person for the first time after only knowing them on Facebook and made some new friends. It really was a great day with great weather as well. It felt really good to be back with my HOW family.

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