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Wounded veterans and their families treated to a day on Lake Washington | SLIDESHOW
Thirty-five injured military veterans and their families had a chance to get out on Lake Washington Saturday morning as part of the "Take a Warrior Fishing" program.
Created as a spin-off of the C.A.S.T for Kids program, created more than 20 years ago by Renton resident Jim Owens, the event pairs volunteer fisherman with injured veterans for a few hours casting and catching out on the water.
Several of the "Wounded Warriors" and their famiiies brought back buckets full of bass and perch, pulled from Lake Washington.
"It was fun," said 12-year US Army veteran Jerry Ewell.
Ewell was last deployed in Iraq, where he injured his back, and has been home for a about a year.
"It was great, I love to fish," agreed US Army member Mark Brasel, who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan five times.
Brasel said he was burnt by white phosphorous and suffered a brain injury while on duty. He has been stateside since 2009 and is doing better.
"I'm recovering," he said.
Brasel and his wife were out on the lake with C.A.S.T. volunteer Dave Watkins and said he may be bringing home more than just a few filets after the vent.
"He might have talked me into buying a boat," Mark Brasel said with a laugh, pointing at Watkins. "We're closer to yes than we were last month."
Owens began the program after talking with his daughter and son-in-law, who has been deployed nine times. Ownes said hearing the stories about the difficulty veterans face re-adjusting to life in the states and with their families touched him and made him want to do something to help them.
"Fishing is the one thing I can offer to help them with that," he said last week.
For more information, visit castforkids.org.