POTTSBORO, TX -- More than 60 active duty soldiers and veterans took to the water for the third annual "Operation Welcome Home".
"Don't reel anymore. Just lift your rod up and reel a little bit," organizer Jerry Dorsey said.
The fishing trip was started by this man, local striper guide Jerry Dorsey, and his wife JoLeen.
"We want them to know that we appreciate their service and their sacrifice that they do for our country," JoLeen Dorsey said.
More than a dozen striper guides donated their boats and services to help these soldiers fish. For many, it was their first time on Lake Texoma, first time striper fishing, and for some, their first time being on a boat.
They quickly found out good things come to those fishermen who wait.
"I'm from the city so fishing doesn't come natural to me, but it was fun. I had fun with my friends," PV2 Andrew Surgick said.
The weekend getaway is also a chance for soldiers to unwind.
"A lot of our soldiers do have the PTSD and the TBI injuries and this is great therapy for those type of injuries. So yes, it's very relaxing it gives them a chance to unwind and get away from the base," Dorsey said.
"After all the stress at work, we need that during the weekend, because it's just too much," Surgick said.
"It's so much appreciated. That the whole town here just welcomes you with open arms and you give hugs all day and it really makes you feel good about your service," veteran Kevin Gabert said.
The Dorseys say the smiles on the soldiers faces and knowing their bringing some happiness to those who defend our freedom are what keep the weekend getaway going.