NEW BERN, Craven County - Nearly 50 veterans hit the open water on Friday morning, getting a chance to fish with their fellow brothers in arms thanks to a program offered up by a North Carolina nonprofit.
The third annual New Bern Top Fishin' Festival was held on the Neuse River, and brought boaters and volunteers together to give back to area veterans.
"We lose 23 vets dailiy for suicides so it's important for us to make connection with others so it is really important for me," Marine Corps veteran and fishing trip participant Deidre LaCour said.
Nonprofit Operation North State puts on the event, aided by volunteers like Joe Ward, who donate their time and their vessels to the cause.
"A lot of veterans here and I think they are you know, veterans are overlooked, they are forgotten," said Ward, himself a veteran of the Marine Corps. "I remember how it was it in the Vietnam era when I got home."
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