Take a veteran fishing

Great Gun Anglers host third annual trip


The Great Gun Anglers third annual Take a Veteran Fishing Trip, on July 23, went swimmingly. This year’s incarnation of the event saw nearly twice as many veterans as the first, held in 2020.

“Seems like every year we’re building,” Evan Goldstein, president of the Great Gun Anglers, said. “The first year we had about 25; then we had 35 or 40 last year. This year we’re up to 45. We look to do about 50. We’re hoping to get some local veterans that are interested in fishing to come join our club.”

The Moriches Chamber of Commerce, as well as an outpouring of monetary and other donations from residents and businesses, made the fishing trip and the barbecue, held afterwards at the Union Avenue Dock, a success.

“All our bait was donated by Harts Cove Bait and Tackle; L&L Wholesale Bait, they donated squid; Charlie Prott donated the spearing,” Goldstein said. “We had a lot of money donations from local businesses and local people, so everybody went out, fished for the day, and came back for a nice barbecue.”

Others donated their time, including all the boat captains. Great Gun Anglers members and other local boaters captained Saturday’s fishing fleet. While there was no repeat of last year’s impressive catch of a 413-pound thresher shark, the 45 veterans sunk their hooks into an array of sea robins, keepers, and other fish.

“I caught two porgies, nice-sized porgies, and a sea bass,” veteran Raymond Harewood said. “We appreciate the people that sponsor it and for thinking about the veterans.”

“Today we had a beautiful day, a little hot, but nice,” Michael Murphy, another veteran, said. “It’s almost therapeutic to be out there on a day like today, just fishing, doing your thing.”

Community events like Saturday’s fishing expedition are important for veterans, who experience a unique camaraderie in their service which only they can fully appreciate, and seek when they return to civilian life.

“They’ll never know it unless they join,” Eric “Boz” Uresk, a first-timer on the fishing trip, said. “That’s the way it works.”

Uresk, who works at the Calverton National Cemetery, seeks other ways to get involved with his fellow veterans in his hometown of Center Moriches.

“I go to the VFW here in Center Moriches every Friday night and I teach the older veterans how to shoot pool,” he said. “And I fold flags. I find flags in the trash, take them home, wash them, fold them, and starch them as little memorials.”

Murphy also spoke to the camaraderie veterans experience in the service and hope to rekindle through community events and programs for veterans.

“It’s like a brotherhood,” he said. “You’re living with these people, they become your brothers, for the most part. It’s a family.”

Donna Zephrine, who attended the fishing trip for her third-straight year, said she returns each year to enjoy the food, the volunteers and captains, and above all else, meeting her fellow veterans.

“Last year I met some Vietnam veterans, and it was nice chatting with them, but they’re not here this year,” Zephrine said. “But you meet different veterans every year, which is nice. And you get to meet veterans from different branches of service, which is nice, too.”


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here