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Camaraderie Between Strangers

I recently had the opportunity to fish with Jared Russell and Ben Oravetz while we worked several creeks and rivers around Little Tybee island. As is often the case, I did not know either of these gentlemen and did not know what to expect from either of them. The last thing I expected was to mentally need this trip just as much as they did.

As my morning began, I crawled out of bed around 4:15 and after a cup of coffee, pointed my truck towards Turner's Creek in Wilmington Island, GA. I arrived quite early so that I could cast for bait prior to my clients arrival. Pulling into a trailer slot, I began removing the tie downs and setting up the rods for the morning's adventure when Ben walked up and introduced himself. It's rare that I meet a client that gets up as early as I do, and even more rare to have one arrive early enough to help launch the boat.

After launching the boat and developing my skills at catching finger mullet with a cast net, both clients found their way aboard and off we went to see what the day would provide. As usual, the atmosphere was one of excitement with Jared filming our early morning departure while I navigated through the no wake zones of Turner's Creek. This is truly one of my favorite areas to launch, simply because of the scenery and the proximity to the fishing areas.

Throughout the day, we hit several creeks and docks, with all of us discussing our military careers. When it was discovered we all held the same MOS (military job), it became pretty evident that we were going to get along quite well. Both of these guys were Forward Observers (FISTER), which was the first MOS that I held after joining the National Guard in Savannah, GA. I would later train to become an 11B Infantryman with a 13F (FISTER) secondary. This unique position send a team of soldiers behind enemy lines and along battle fronts to call in enemy positions for artillery engagements. Accuracy is key to getting shots on target quickly and effectively. We took pride in providing pinpoint information that would put rounds on target with no more than 2 adjustments. This is also much like the approach we take in finding our targets when fishing.

As the day would have it, the only thing on our minds was the multiple species of fish we would catch and our history while serving the military. The fun and laughter never stopped, even when rains began to pelt us as we moved from one spot to another. As I reflect on the events of that weekend, I really begin to miss those times in the field with my fellow service members. They weren't always fun, and there were times when you simply could not satisfy everyone with your efforts, but there was never a doubt that each one was there to support the other, no matter what. The camaraderie and trust that each of us had for our brother or sister in arms was unmatched. The fishing weekend with Jared and Ben was no different and reminded me that even after departing the military, many members of our military family are still there for us. I hope to see these two veterans again in the near future as I send out a new Warning Order and we adjust our Method of Engagement. Adjust Fire gentlemen and Fire for Effect.

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