Veterans fishing tournament draws a crowd

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REGENT, N.D. (KFYR) -- More than 100 veterans and first responders competed Saturday to see who could bring in the highest weight of fish.

The tournament was hosted by Veterans Outdoors Adventures, one of many activities it organizes throughout the year for those who serve.

"Their sole focus is getting veterans involved in outdoor activities, interacting with one another, kind of sharing stories and dealing with those stressors and things that people bring home," said John Lisle, a North Dakota veteran.

They don't just focus on the veterans themselves, though.

"When we're gone, deployed, those firefighters, those police officers, and those EMTs are who protect our country, our families, and our communities so that we have something to come back to. So we need to always recognize them as well," said Elizabeth VanLishout, founder and president of Veterans Outdoors Adventures North Dakota.

They give all those who serve a chance for community, and a chance to connect with others in similar situations -- as well as having fun hunting or fishing.

"They're dealing with veterans that could be in a firefight, and then 48 hours later they could be state-side with their families, and there's no transition there in between, and this is kinda there as a buffer to help guys go out and share their stories and talk to people and get some things off their chest," said Lisle.

The next event is a prairie dog hunt in June.