We Love Roy’s Rock!

Truth be told, there is no place many of us would rather be than on Roy’s Rock at Killam’s Point on the Long Island Sound. It’s not just a place, a spot on a rock where the fishing is good, but rather it’s a state of mind. It’s a place where time can stand still…where we’re surrounded by nature, with the wind in our faces, the water at our feet, and the sun melting away the worries and concerns of our day.

We’re never alone out there on that rock, even if we’re in that zone we call our “happy place.” Beyond the souls to our left or right are all the vets and volunteers who have made this place so special. They show up to go fishing together, enjoy a home-cooked meal, and help share the love…that’s what it’s all about at Take A Vet Fishing.

One day a man named Roy Jenkins showed up with a group from the VA’s Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center. Roy had fished all his life and had plans to do a lot more with his brother when they both retired in southern Virginia. But shortly after that day came, Roy lost his good vision, and his dream of spending a lot of time on the water suddenly evaporated. He was forced to sell his boat and had to give up his driver’s license.

As he told us later, he was in a bad way that day he came out fishing with us, but what happened next changed us all, especially Roy. We got to talking, and Roy got to fishing again. The sun came out for him and his joy returned. He was among friends doing what he loved, and there was no place that he would have rather been! Roy came back several times over the years and our friendship deepened as we stayed in touch. If you ask him today, he’ll tell you how some of his life’s best memories are of being out on that rock with people who care, and who helped him rekindle that spark.

Take A Vet Fishing on BCTV 2011 Part 1

BCTV interviews TAVF on “In Touch with Branford”. Jeff Buggee and Ray Luhn explain the origins of Take a Vet Fishing, sharing stories about the organization’s mission of providing friendship and comfort to disabled Veterans and their staff by providing relaxing activities that get them out of the institutional setting. TAVF started in 2007 at the First Congregational Church of Branford and has received broad support in the region. By the end of 2011 in its 5th season, more than 1500 Veterans and scores of volunteers have benefited. As the number of Veterans dealing with disabilities continues to grow, there is a great opportunity for caring citizens to show their compassion and gratitude. TAVF hopes that other groups across the country will develop similar models of outreach and welcomes the opportunity to help.

Take A Vet Fishing on BCTV 2011 Part 2

BCTV interviews TAVF on “In Touch with Branford”. Jeff Buggee and Ray Luhn explain the origins of Take a Vet Fishing, sharing stories about the organization’s mission of providing friendship and comfort to disabled Veterans and their staff by providing relaxing activities that get them out of the institutional setting. TAVF started in 2007 at the First Congregational Church of Branford and has received broad support in the region. By the end of 2011 in its 5th season, more than 1500 Veterans and scores of volunteers have benefited. As the number of Veterans dealing with disabilities continues to grow, there is a great opportunity for caring citizens to show their compassion and gratitude. TAVF hopes that other groups across the country will develop similar models of outreach and welcomes the opportunity to help.
Aired May-June 2011

Independence Day 2010: Vets Win Right to Fish

Story and Photo by Marcia Chambers, Branford Eagle, July 2010

The vets couldn’t have been happier; maybe content is the right word. They arrived at the Killam’s Point Conference Center on July 4th and were given a chair, a fishing rod and the great pond known as Long Island Sound.

“It’s wonderful. I am at peace here,” said Tracey Pettway, 44, who is a patient at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven. It was the second getaway time for Pettway, who served in a Navy amphibious group in Desert Storm. He was smiling.

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