CAMP RIPLEY - Anglers from across the Midwest on June 5-6 took part in the 4th annual Trolling for the Troops.

Along the Mississippi River and on Mille Lacs Lake, pro anglers accompanied disabled veterans, current service members and recently deployed soldiers on a fishing excursion for the day.

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"This year's event came together so well; we couldn't ask for better participants," said John Maile, event organizer.

The several veterans' organizations that support Trolling for the Troops believe that any disabled veteran or recently deployed soldiers who has served our country deserves a day on the lake. It is through their assistance that nearly 100 veterans each year take part in the event.

"Here is your opportunity to get a chance to fish with some of the best anglers in the Midwest," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth of the Camp Ripley Joint Visitors Bureau. "Trolling for the Troops is a fun, exciting and stress free day of fishing in boats that make heads turn," he added.

With support from organizations such as Cabelas, Seafoam Motor Treatment, Minnesota Elks Club and the American Foods Group as well as Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Upper-Mississippi River Smallies Club and Lindner Angling Edge, well known professional fishermen were able to donate their time and resources to the event.

Trolling for the Troops, as well as the turkey and deer hunts held at Camp Ripley, allow these organizations to get behind the veterans and service members to help maintain the bond

Minnesotans have with their community and environment. It also provides them an opportunity for relationship building between older veterans, current veterans and young service members.

"The outdoor events are a small and critical piece to continued healing for all combat veterans and positive examples for currently serving soldiers," said Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley Post Commander.