Carrabelle, Florida- June 9, 2012
Mark Miller tried something new at the Big Bend Saltwater Classic. He teamed up with Cpt. Chester Reese for open water fishing.
"When you get out on the open water and you see the different stuff and see what he caught compared to what I caught, it's a big difference," Miller said.
"He came up and he goes, just tell me what to do," Reese said. "And I said 'well, we'll instruct each other and we'll go on out.'"
Miller, a retired 23-year army Sargeant, was part of Fishing for the Brave, a nonprofit program that pairs military members with chartered captains.
John Swanson founded the organization.
"Every dime goes to them and that's all we want to do is take guys fishing and tell them thank you, welcome home," said Swanson, a military veteran.
"We appreciate it. I get emotional when we do this because we do a lot, yet the community, the captains, everybody comes back to us and says we appreciate what you do," Miller said.
Seven active and retired members of the military were part of Fishing for the Brave. Two came as far as Belgium.
"It's pretty cool," Swanson said. "They flew in - they're still on active duty and they're actually fishing the tournament while on active duty, which is a new step for us."
But there was more to the weekend than just fishing. Friendships were formed.
"He was a great guy to have on board. And now he's telling me how to fish," Reese quipped.
"Something bigger," Miller responded when asked what he wants to pursue next. "I want to come out of here with something bigger."