Mark Tenia
CBS19 News

It all started with a question from the chaplain of the Wounded Warriors program

“He approached me and said hey I would like to take a couple of my guys fishing. So I asked him how many, and I do run a guide service here on the lake so I figured it was just a couple, and he said 50,” said event director Ken Kirk.

Saturday veterans came from North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland for a fully funded fishing tournament at Lake Anna. 70 boats left the marina Saturday morning after weeks of planning and thousands of dollars donated from several communities.

“With a community that pulls together like that, I didn’t think it was possible,” said Kirk.

Kirk says the day was not only about fun but also to send a message.

“It’s events like this that will let those guys overseas know that we care, cause this word will get over there, that local communities are pulling together behind our troops,” said Kirk.

“It’s an awesome thing, it just shows that my efforts while I was in Iraq weren’t done in vein because people actually appreciated me, and all the rest of us as individuals as a group for what we’ve done,” said Sgt. Michael Crawford of the Maryland National Guard.

Crawford says that it’s important that the day’s efforts continue.

“It’s gotta be on going, just to show that we’re appreciated,” said Crawford.

And as for the competition, many of these veteran men and women may feel the same way.

“Well I’ve already won, even without the fish I won from the support of the community,” said Crawford.