Deployed soldiers receive relaxing vacation in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/09/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

EAGLE RIVER - When soldiers get sent overseas, they normally don't get to go fishing.

But here in the Northwoods they're doing just that, for free.

"Fishing doesn't stay the same. Every year it's different." said fishing guide, Marve Elliott.

For the last seven summers, the USO has brought selected servicemen and their families to Camp R & R at the Appleton Lodge on Butternut Lake near Eagle River.

Part of the stress-free week is fishing with Yukon Jack and his guides.

"They volunteer their time to the USO for the service members and their families. And it happens to be every week we have it it's a Tuesday," said USO of Illinois Program Director, Wiley Norden.

"Like I said it's one of the highlights of the week."

Korean War veteran Marve Elliott volunteered his time to guide these soldiers in the water.

"We want to give back something to these guys to because we know what they've gone through with their families," Elliott said.

"We've been here several years now, all three of us. Al and Doc, we enjoy doing it."

But the real enjoyment is the reaction from the kids.

"What I really enjoy is taking sons or daughters or parents take their kids out on the lake and they'll watch a kid catch their first fish or something. That's great. That's great." said Elliott.

Senior Chief Michael Allen is thankful for the respect shown to military members.

"Hearing that people actually care about people going overseas and spending time with my family is a great opportunity to give back," Navy Senior Chief, Michael Allen said.

"It's awesome for us to actually see some of the benefits."

Catching a fish might be tough, but showing appreciation for our troops is all that matters.

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