Two-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle, well-known for his candor and humor in the sport of pro bass fishing, admits he was left "totally speechless" by a recent letter he received from a fan.
The Alabama pro, who is the reigning angler of angler of the year, posted the letter on his Facebook page, apparently sent by an Iraq War veteran who wrote about how much of an inspiration Swindle has been to him. The vet also included a keepsake in his letter.
"Outside of all the kind words he wrote, he enclosed a patch of the American flag, but not just a flag patch," Swindle posted on Facebook. "It was the flag patch on his uniform when he was wounded in war serving our country in Iraq and he wanted me to have it. He simply said, 'I felt like this patch was my good luck charm and I want you to have it.'
"That is exactly why I stand proud when the national anthem is played and often find myself with my eyes watering thanks to everyone who has served this country," Swindle continued. "May God always bless you."
The letter writer, Chris Reed, responded to Swindle's post, saying he doesn't like the spotlight, but wanted to thank the angler again:
"I just want to say that your seminar this weekend on Positive Mental Attitude has already had a PROFOUND impact on my life. I'm already a better husband, father, and man because I've made a conscious decision to keep the negative people at bay and negative thoughts in check. I needed to hear that talk this weekend and I'm so glad I came down. I know my flag will bring you good luck and just remember, you're never out of the fight sir."
The 2017 Bassmaster season has already begun. The 2017 Bassmaster Classic is scheduled for March 24-26 at Lake Conroe, Texas.