It was May 10th, 2014, a little breezy to start out, but still a clear and sunny day. In the early afternoon, with the assistance of US Veterans Foundation founding officers JT and Greg, Sergeant Harold Love climbed aboard the Stinger Pro for a day of fishing that he had longed to do.
SGT Love was a WWII Army Veteran. He had originally volunteered for Military service in the height of the war, but was denied enlistment due to a perceived debilitating injury to an eye in his youth that made him mostly blind in one eye. Ironically though, he received a draft notice a short time later. In spite of the eye injury, he was an expert marksman and trained other Soldiers in the development of their marksmanship skills. He ultimately was assigned to an Army weapons development unit where he quickly climbed to the rank of Sergeant before separation from the Army at Fort Meade in 1946.
He and his wife Mildred had married in 1942. In the spirit of the Greatest Generation, Mildred worked as an assembler and inspector at a munitions factory during the war. They were married for over 71 years. Harold lost Mildred, the love of his life, in March 2014, a little over two months before taking in this fishing adventure. The loss of his wife left a tremendous void and depression set in hard.
But on that glorious day his spirits were lifted, when he was out on the water doing something that he had always really enjoyed doing. The fishing was good that day and there was never a dull moment. The typical Veteran banter was plentiful, even though across three different generations. Harold was a fishing fool that day, pulling in fish after fish, out fishing the two younger Vets combined. He was happy, in his element and his cares were put aside. It was a day of R&R that he had long deserved and needed.
The day on the water drew to a close, but the thought of now feasting on what had just been caught kept the spirits high. As we came back to shore it was obvious that Harold had a great day and was happy to have spent the time out on the water. SGT Harold Love is seen here with TSG Greg Love on the Stinger Pro fishing boat. There is nothing more telling than the smile on his face. After preparing and eating the feast at JT's place, I took SGT Love back home to go to bed. He thanked me again for taking him out fishing, expressing how great it had been, and told me to be sure to thank JT again. He smiled as he lay down to go to sleep. Army SGT W. Harold Love passed away 4 weeks later, having lived a full and happy life.
It was an Honor providing this Outdoor Adventure to a Veteran who had served his Country in time of need. We at US Veterans Foundation are working to continue this tradition of giving back to those who have served. USVF Outdoors sponsors Veteran outdoor get-a-ways to provide a place to decompress, to get back to nature and to enjoy the camaraderie of others with similar life experiences in their service to Country.