By John Lindsey
MORRO BAY – About 20 wounded warriors and local disabled veterans spent Saturday (Sept. 8) fishing as part of the 1st Operation Hook, Line and Sinker event.
It was sponsored by AmpSurf and Anglers Anonymous with help from PG&E’s Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG), the city of Morro Bay and local Future Farmers of America and Kiwanis members.
The strong northwesterly winds blew across Estero Bay and produced moderately high seas and plenty of ocean spray. On this day, the California Department of Fish and Game declared that anglers could fish without a license.
“Even when the ocean is rough, that’s part of the fun of it for me,” said Greg Birkholz, president and founder of Anglers Anonymous. Birkholz worked tirelessly with other volunteers to put this event together.
John Stiles was one of those who volunteered his fishing expertise with these warriors. Stiles had spent a year in Vietnam locating and disarming landmines
“I understand the amount of stress and sacrifice that these brave souls have gone through,” he said. “It was wonderful to see these treasured veterans completely engrossed with fishing and forgetting their cares for a while.”
AmpSurf Founder and San Luis Obispo County Veterans Service Officer Dana Cummings praised the community for coming together to support veterans.
“This was the first time that many of these veterans had gone deep-sea fishing and many would have never had the opportunity it if it wasn’t for programs like this,” Cummings said.
Despite the rough waters, the group caught nearly 50 fish.
PG&E has 10 recognized ERGs that share common interests and help promote the company’s business objectives and diversity goals. More than 3,000 employees are members of the groups, which also promote teamwork and help foster local community relationships and volunteerism.
The Veterans ERG is the newest at PG&E. It is working with the company to recruit, hire and mentor veterans as they leave the military and begin new careers in the energy industry.
Email John Lindsey at email@example.com.