OKEECHOBEE — A fishing tournament is planned in April to raise money to help veterans.
At the Oct. 20 meeting of the Okeechobee County Board of Commissioners, Stephen Cone of X-22 Adventures said the suicide rate for veterans is 44 per day. “Just recenlty, during covid, it was at 50,” he added.
“One is too many,” he said.
To help combat the suicide rate, X-22 Adventures wants to host a fishing tournament to raise money to take veterans hunting, fishing and camping, Cone explained. The commissioners agreed to waive the fees for the use of the Scott Driver Recreation Area for the event, planned for April 28-30, 2023.
“In 2017 in November, I was homeless on the streets in Lansing, Michigan,” Cone explained. “Another veteran dragged me out of a VA shelter and took me fishing.” That fishing trip helped him turn his life around, and he wants to do the same to help other veterans.
“When the good Lord put this on my heart to start this, I had no clue there were more organizations other than the Wounded Warrior Project,” he said. “There’s actually thousands of organizations all over the United States. We all work together, networking.”