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VFW in Loudon sponsors free Day on the Water’

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5150 in Loudon is sponsoring a free Day on the Water for military veterans on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The event is open to all vets in the East Tennessee area no matter their age, branch or length of service and their families.

It begins at 9 a.m. at Wind River Harbor Marina on Highway 321 in Lenoir City.

This is a day for fishing, sightseeing, skiing, tubing or whatever the vet wishes to do, said VFW spokesman Jim Jorgensen. Its an enjoyable, fun way to say thanks to those who served.

Participants will be paired with boat captains and can stay on the water as late as 4 p.m., Jorgensen said.

Complimentary food and beverages will be provided by Master Craft Boat Co. A rain date of Sept. 20 also has been set.

Jorgensen, an Army vet who served in Vietnam in 1969, brought the idea to Tennessee when he retired from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Michigan.

I served as a volunteer boat captain for five years with a program just like this, he said. It was a wonderful experience and a chance to pay back. Many of the participants came with their spouses and their grandchildren.

There are other boating programs for veterans in this area that involve fishing only. Thats fine, but we wanted to open it up to any kind of boating activity.

Jorgensen said he and his volunteers can accommodate up to 200 people for the event. Advance registration is requested. To sign up, veterans, as well as boat owners and other volunteers, should call 865-458-2792 or email [email protected]

A website with more details is available at www.boats4vets.org.

All kinds of boats are welcome, said Jorgensen.

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