Cliff Pace, Justin Atkins and Paul Elias take a picture with veterans and members of the Fishing with Legends team. Photo courtesy of Fishing with Legends

Veterans Day is a way for our country to pay their respects and say “thank you” to the men and women who serve in the armed forces all across the globe. This year, three MLF pros used their Veterans Day to show a few veterans their appreciation with a day of fishing.

Paul Elias, Cliff Pace and Justin Atkins joined the organization Fishing with Legends and five veterans on Adventure Lake in Mississippi for a day filled with fishing, fun and a whole lot of thank you’s.

MLF pro Justin Atkins (left) and a veteran participate in the 10th annual Bass Battle for Fishing with Legends. Photo courtesy of Justin Atkins

Monday was the 10th annual Bass Battle for Fishing with Legends. This is the fourth year that Elias has joined the crew for a Veterans Day outing, and Elias says that it is something he looks forward to every year.

“Fishing with Legends is just a great organization that has done so much for veterans,” Elias complimented. “I try to help out whenever I can. It’s so awesome to not only fish with them, but to get to eat breakfast with them and get to know them as people. They talk about how relaxing it is to fish with us after going through their service to our country. It was worth it all for me just to see them having a good time.”

Pace feels the same as his fellow Mississippian Elias. Pace says he happily volunteered to spend time on the lake with veterans who made sacrifices while serving our nation.

“It just really makes it all worthwhile to see how much fun the veterans have,” Pace said. “They have all gone through so much for our country and to ensure that we have the freedoms that we hold so dear today. If I helped one of those guys have a good day then it was all worth it for me.”

Atkins travels the country for his fishing career and has spent many days missing his family over the years. However, when he looks at what all the veterans go through, and how long they are without their families and loved ones, Atkins says it puts things in perspective.

“Those veterans put their lives on the line in service to our country and I will be forever grateful for that,” Atkins said. “Next time when I’m on the road missing my family and friends, I’m going to remember what all they went through overseas, and how many months they were without their families. It makes it seem what I go through is a cakewalk. I will never have the right words to thank all of the men and women that serve, but if taking a few fishing is a way to start, then that’s what I’m going to do.”