The Veterans Service Partnership (VSP) is a TU initiative with a mission to serve and engage our nation’s military family, all veterans, able and those with disabilities, active duty military, their spouses, and their families in Trout Unlimited. Through fishing and related acti
vities, the VSP seeks to engage our nation’s military family with TU with the goal of involving them in a meaningful, life-long, and sustaining way with the TU chapter community locally and in TU conservation programs and initiatives.
Many of our VSP programs do an amazing job serving our nation’s veterans with disabilities, and our Service to this deserving community is very important. The TU VSP also seeks to engage and serve spouses, families, and active duty military, and active duty is a segment of the military community that offers great opportunities. We have several TU VSP programs that reach out to active duty military, and one, Mid Hudson TU in Poughkeepsie, has a partnership with a special group of active duty soldiers that is dear to my heart, the Cadets from the West Point Fly Fishing Club (WPFFC) My youngest son Kevin is an ’09 West Point grad and is currently serving on the faculty at USMA.
On a recent June visit to West Point, I had the opportunity to meet LTC Ron Hasz, the OIC of the WPFFC. Ron is a wonderful fellow and is dedicated to teaching Physics and Nuclear Engineering and leading the Cadets in the sport of fly fishing through the WPFFC. Kevin Miller, Board member and volunteer for Mid Hudson TU, has been working with Ron to put on a fly fishing event for the Cadets. They had a trip set up for 2018, but it got rained out. They set up another trip to the Esopus for this year in September, and they pulled off a very successful event! This is a report from the West Point DCA (Directorate of Cadet Activities) on the trip.
“The Cadet Fly Fishing Club trip for 8 cadets under the club CIC acting also as OIC on 16 Sep was a success in many ways. The cadets were able to safely conduct the day trip and linked up with members of the Mid Hudson Trout Unlimited (TU) to fish the Esopus River. Weather and water conditions were nice, and the TU mentors helped the cadets catch rainbow and brown trout. Experienced cadets mentored beginners and the cadets learned from the TU club how another fly fishing club operates and learned insights from their years of experience on the Esopus River. The club is thankful for the support of DCA, external donations, and external volunteers that all were critical to make this trip successful.”
On behalf of the TU VSP, I would like to thank LTC Hasz, Kevin Miller, and Mid Hudson TU for putting together this great event. As the parent of a West Point grad, I know how precious opportunities like this are to the Cadets. Attending a Service Academy is not like going to college in that virtually every waking moment of a Cadet’s life is scheduled with something, and there’s very little free time to partake in activities like this fly fishing outing. I know this meant a lot to the Cadets who were able to participate.