Veterans go fishing in Stamford to raise money for Walter Reed National Military Hospital
The Halloween Yacht Club in Stamford hosted the 10th annual Hooks for Heroes Fishing Tournament to raise money for a military hospital Saturday.
Sergio Cano has not missed a Hooks for Heroes event since its inception 10 years ago. He served in Iraq and was in Afghanistan when a day in June 2011 changed his life forever.
"My recon team got ambushed, entire team got hit, I took two RPGs, and got shot in the left arm, tourniquet myself, and gave my entire team morphine, and called in air support,” Cano says.
He spent three years recovering and rehabilitating at Walter Reed National Military Hospital.
"I tried to salvage my leg for about a year and a half, and it didn't work out so I went the amputation route,” he says.
Since then, Cano says he has a fresh perspective of positivity. However, he says the high suicide rates amongst veterans is why the fundraiser at the Halloween Yacht Club is so important.
“This event alone will probably save lives, you may not see the person or meet them, but you are getting them out of the house to meet others, and other veterans too,” Cano says.
President of Hooks for Heroes Pat Buzzeo says that’s what the event aims to do.
“A lot of veterans help veterans, and it was a responsibility that I feel that us older veterans had to support our younger veterans coming back, Afghanistan, Iraq,” he says.
The event was a friendly competition for the biggest catch, but it was about much more than just fishing.
“We wanted to always keep them busy and doing things,” Buzzeo says. “And fishing is a way of making them relax, getting them together. It also helps with PTSD.”
All of the money raised at the tournament will go toward Operation Gift Cards, which has raised more than $1 million for the hospital since it was started 14 years ago.
For more information about Hooks for Heroes, click here.