A Hero Speaks About Reeling in the Memories through “Veterans Excursions to Sea”
By Amy Lignor
There are heroes in this world who are respected by one and all. Not only for their courage and bravery at standing up for the U.S. of A., but also because of the fact that they run into other locations and defend people “without a voice” by standing up to the evil that tries to harm them. Matthew Rogers is one of these amazing heroes and is also a man who has continued to aid his “brothers and sisters” who need help when the battle has come to a close.
At the core of Matthew’s story is a father who he respected and admired all his life. This is a loving dad who would talk about the Army, and his own adventures, in a way that displayed to Matthew how it was a single path to take in life that offered many benefits, including a chance to travel and experience unique locations around the world.
Matthew’s own tale takes place from March of 2011 to March of 2012. Being a member of the 3rd Brigade/10th Mountain Division, he was deployed to R.C. South in Kandahar Provence. A harrowing locale, he was a part of the 2-87 Infantry that was, thankfully, successful in providing security and safety for the Afghanistan people during their long, and very bloody deployment.
Returning to his quiet home, Matthew discovered the therapeutic benefits of fishing when a friend took him out on the water for a spearfishing excursion. The relaxation of his mind came from becoming lost in nature. Not to mention, being able to “escape” from the real world by keeping his focus on the fish he was trying to reel in. In essence, the idea is a simple one: There is not a lot of time to focus on the bad when you’re feeling complete excitement over having that perfect “catch” on the line.
After realizing that going out on the water was a complete and utter gift that helped see him through the tougher times, Matthew purchased his Tidewater 2110 Bay Max this very year. The name of the boat makes sense; the 2 Delta stands for the 2nd Platoon Delta Company (the one he was a part of while fighting in Afghanistan).
His work as a volunteer helping others became even more exciting when a non-profit charity by the name of Veterans Excursions to Sea came into being. With a mission of “healing through reeling,” this charity was begun by Tyler Crane in the location where Matthew lives. Crane, a Purple Heart recipient as well as a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, served nine years in the military, reaching the rank of Sergeant First Class before being discharged because of the injuries he received. His leadership awards are numerous, including being an inductee to the Order of St. Maurice.
Matthew is a true supporter of this charity and works hard to help raise money and take other veterans out on the water so that they, too, can discover the complete benefits that nature has to give, as well as the excitement they can experience through fishing.
The “Excursions to Sea” program offers free fishing trips for veterans and their families (up to 3 guests). These amazing trips are inshore/nearshore paths that target Red Drum, Snook, Trout, and Tarpon (May/June Only), with Shark and Grouper trips available upon request. Fishing in Charlotte Harbor, The World Famous Boca Grande Pass and surrounding areas, all honorably discharged veterans are welcome to experience the compelling paradise and learn to sit back, relax, and enjoy the thrills that fishing brings. With priority given to Combat Veterans, Purple Heart Recipients will also be provided accommodations if needed.
Like Matthew Rogers, “reeling in the memories” – memories that are all about the good in this world – provides benefits that can be found nowhere else. And when it comes to the heroes of this world, I think we all agree that they deserve nothing less than the very best.
For more information about the charity, visit https://veteranexcursions.com/