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Northern Michigan Veterans Honored In Tight Lines For Troops

The 8th annual Tightline For Troops took place in Manistee on Saturday.

It’s an event that takes veterans and Gold Star families out to Lake Michigan to fish.

The families caught fish and reflected on the people who gave their lives for our country.

Many said it was an honor to be part of the event.

The annual charity fishing tournament began in Manistee County when a charter boat captain wanted to show his appreciation to members of the military for their dedication to our country.

9&10’s Jeff Blakeman takes you to the open water where two Gold Star families reflected on loved ones lost.

"Our son was killed Afghanistan in 2012 and it’s just to bring all the veterans for a good time, good day fishing tournament. I’ve never been one before and it’s a great experience," said Rick Hansen.

"We lost our son Justin Hansen in 2012, we’re a Gold Star Family. He was amazing, he served in special operations, initially he was in recon. And tour in Iraq, two in Afghanistan," he said.

"Was very committed to what he did to his team and to his family. We’re here today because my father passed away in 1998 in a helicopter accident in North Carolina," said Vickie Hays.

"So I’m here to day with my aunt, my dads sister and my dads dad, so it’s an honor to be here and so cool to be here with them," she said.

"It’s a painful but bitterweet experience to able to talk to another Gold Star Family. It’s heartwarming, but it hurts at the same time, and talking to the veterans is so cool. I love hear their stories and what they did and what branch of military they are, it’s so cool," she said.

"Well I expected to get wet, cold and miserable and it’s been totally the opposite," she said.

"It’s awesome to have an opportunity to do this type of event. How awesome is it that so many volunteers have contributed time and resources to let this happen. Captain and crew are awesome, they obviously know where the fish are," said Hannah Davis.

"Thank you so much to everyone that participated in this event, to the boat captains. All the volunteers who did registration, parking everything the organizers. It’s fantastic, it’s so cool everyone came together for this. Thank you so much to everybody," she said.

The event gave more than 300 Michigan veterans a chance to get out on the water.

The fleet had more than 60 boats this year.

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