Warriors Wangling Walleye supports veterans and the local fishing industry

Apr 30, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Tim Larcey, a former Navy Seal and Vietnam War veteran, left, and his wife, Susan Larcey, hosted the 8th Annual Warriors Wangling Walleye tournament on April 26. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Nine years ago, former Navy Seal Tim Larcey formulated an ingenious idea that would support military veterans as well as the local sport fishing industry. After a year of planning, he hosted the first Warriors Wangling Walleye tournament to raise funds for military causes.

“Tim came home one day and said, ‘Why isn’t there a walleye tournament in Port Clinton?’” said his wife, Susan Larcey. “He was very active in the VFW at the time, so he just ran with it. It was a way to do something for veterans and also support sport fishing in Port Clinton.”

On April 26, Tim and Susan hosted the 8th Annual Warriors Wangling Walleye tournament. Twelve four-man teams competed for the biggest fish award and the overall team winner. This year marked the first time since before COVID that the weather was calm enough to get on the lake.

“Originally, we required them to have a veteran on the team, but then we realized that guys who are not vets were doing it for the vets,” Susan said. “Some teams go out on their own boats, and we have some very generous captains who donate their time.”

Greg Springer, a 36-year Army veteran, has been instrumental in finding sponsors for the annual Warriors Wangling Walleye tournament. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Greg Springer, a 36-year Army veteran, travels from his home in Atwater for the tournament each year. He always packs his fishing gear, his tackle, his rain gear and the names of companies willing to sponsor the tournament.

“I’m a vet, and I wanted to give back to vets,” he said. “Every chance I get, I go out and look for sponsors.”

This year, the tournament’s proceeds were donated to Patriots on the Fly and Save A Warrior (SAW). Patriots on the Fly is a non-profit organization that gives disabled veterans the opportunity to learn fly tying, fly rod casting, general fly fishing education and on-the-water fly fishing techniques. All classes, programs and supplies are free for the participants. The purpose of the program is to provide education and connection.

“It’s a two-year curriculum for veterans of any age. They tie flies and have speakers,” said Warriors Wangling Walleye volunteer Lisa Benjamin.

Benjamin’s sister, Diane Wantz, founded Patriots on the Fly.

Save A Warrior was founded in 2012 with a mission to end the staggering suicide rate among veterans, active-duty military personnel and First Responders.

“It’s an intensive three-day program that guys with PTSD can go through,” Susan said. “They’ve done so much to save veterans’ lives. So many veterans are in need. They need help and attention, and we can see the results of SAW.”

Tim spent four years active duty as a Navy Seal during the Vietnam War. The horrors he endured still stay with him, so he enrolled in SAW to help remove the shadows of his past from his present. At the tournament, he talked about the impact SAW had on his life.

“I just went through SAW. It made me better about life. It made me happier. I’m not so pissed about life anymore,” he said.

For more information on Patriots on the Fly, visit www.PatriotsOnTheFly.org. For more information on Save A Warrior, visit www.saveawarrior.org. For more information on Warriors Wangling Walleye, visit www.warriorswanglingwalleye.org.

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