“I will be going into a hospice facility for my last days but for now I am not going to sit at the house waiting on it. I am going fishing.”
Gerald Browne knows all too well about having numbered days. The United States Army veteran was diagnosed with cancer almost half a decade ago, not long after his wife passed away, and he’s done messing around with treatments that only sap his ability to live — REALLY live — while he has the chance.
“I’ve been fighting cancer for going on four years. I’ve had surgery and chemo twice and I’ve maxxed out radiation,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “The doctors now want me to have more surgeries to try to take out a new tumor that has developed but it ain’t happening. I am done.”
His enormous sense of vitality in the face of such grave medical news is a testament to the strength of not only Browne, but the vast community he represents and proudly wears on his sleeve: former soldiers.
It was his acumen as an angler, however, that caught the eye of a guy named Joel Dudley and opened the Houston vet to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a fishing adventure through Wicked Water Outfitters. The company, owned by Dudley, offers outdoor trips to active and former military members through their Wicked Water Warrior Project.
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“We take our wounded and military veterans on trips to help with their recovery and healing process and getting back to doing things like hunting, bowfishing and just giving them the chance to enjoy themselves in the outdoors,” Dudley said.
Dudley invited Browne and a friend to come along on a fishing trip to Port O’Connor. They were accompanied by a group of outdoorsmen including Buck Medley of the TV show “Relentless Pursuit,” Craig Carter with Outlaw Bowfishing and Wes Bodden with Lured Out Guide Service. Dudley’s friend, Freddie Calvarette of Louisiana, came along to make Cajun-style meals.
The group went out in the bay where they caught a number of fish that they cooked and enjoyed when they returned to shore.
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