A remote fly-in fishing resort in the Sioux Lookout area has donated a fishing trip to two visually impaired Vietnam War veterans.
Ohio-based veteran Joe Temkiewicz contacted Hidden Bay Lodge to see about deals for his fellow vets.
Managing partner Tim Reinke said he volunteered to fly them in and provide food and gear for free.
"I was in the fire service for 20 years and got injured, and you know, I just like to help people out."
Reinke said he's been fortunate in his life, so he tries to give back.
A long-time, fly-in angler himself, Temkiewicz said he feels the same way — which is why he reached out to an Ohio veterans home to find men with whom he could share the experience.
"I was in Vietnam so I understand that the vets are kind of a brotherhood. I think once you're in the service you kind of develop a camaraderie."
Temkiewicz said northwestern Ontario is his favourite place to fish.
"I happen to like northwestern Ontario,” he said. “I think the lakes are nicer. It's hard to say. It's a combination of things. If you're a fisherman, I think that northwestern Ontario is where you want to go."
Temkiewicz said two other outfitters also offered the vets free fly-ins.
The idea for the trip came to Temkiewicz after coming across a web site called Walleye Central that focuses on people who do fly-ins.
"I noticed … one guy said he was taking his dad up. They'd been going for years. His dad became blind, so he would cast for him and then his dad would retrieve it. And I thought 'well that's really a nice gesture,’ so I started looking into taking some disabled vets."
Temkiewicz said it took him a year-and-a half to find veterans to take on the trip, as the U.S. government does not release information about injured vets. He had to make connections through area social service organizations.
The two visually impaired veterans are Ronnie Leeth of Cleveland, Ohio, and Wayne Comstock of Sandusky, Ohio.
Temkiewicz's local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and the local American Veterans post each donated $2,000 for the trip.