Paying our dues

Smith Mountain is now a memory and Pickwick hasn't yet happened, so I have a little spare time to give back something to the people and organizations that make all of our lives possible.

On Wednesday I'll be going to North Carolina to participate in the Warriors on the Water fishing tournament. Their Military Appreciation Bass Fishing Tournament will be held April 21-23 on Jordan Lake at the New Hope Ramp.

It's a pretty big deal. There are 150 volunteer boaters registered. They also have activities for the families as well as plenty of good food. If you want more information, go to

I'll only be able to stay Wednesday, but it's a real thrill for me. I'm not just saying that, either. I really mean it. Our military men and women make my life possible. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about that.

I also want to say something about Marty Stone in this context. He's been very active with Warriors on the Water and has been instrumental in getting a lot of us — pros from BASS and FLW — involved. Well done, Marty.

On Thursday evening, I'll be back in Michigan speaking at a sportsperson ministry in Grand Rapids. Basically, it's a fairly large group of Christian sportsmen who get together once a month and have a guest speaker address a topic that's timely to the outdoors.

I'm looking forward to that as well. It's good to see Christian men and women get together and celebrate their faith and their love of the outdoors. It helps keep everything in perspective and makes the world a better place.

And then, on Saturday, I'll be working about an hour from my house in Portage with a local Take Me Fishing program. We'll launch my boat in a small lake and help the kids learn to fish and teach them to appreciate our sport. Watching a young man or woman catch a fish is one of the great thrills in life.

Strike King is supplying lures, and Zebco is supplying rods and reels. Every youngster will have a tacklebox with lures in it and something to cast them with thanks to those companies. There are others contributing, too. Everything and everyone is appreciated. Their contributions are invaluable.

So here's the deal the way I see it: Despite our economic issues and our political differences, we live in one heck of a country. Our lifestyle is the envy of the world. We all need to thank the men and women who make that possible and do our part by volunteering and contributing.

It's not brain surgery. If we want to continue our lifestyle, we have to work for it. Someone once said there's no free lunch. He was right.

And remember, it's all about the attitude.

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