HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Sergeant First Class Richard Monroe and Staff Sergeant Cyle Garth are used to doing battle in a war zone, but the only battle for them on this day is to pull up the big one.
"First time I ever done this, I thought I wouldn't like it. I didn't like it at first, but now, I'm starting to like it because I'm catching something," MS National Guardsman Cyle Garth said. "I'm starting to catch something again. It feel pretty big. It's another little catfish."
Staff Sergeant Garth is a building maintenance specialist for the Mississippi Army National Guard and Sergeant First Class Monroe is a medic. They both recently returned to the states after a 12 month deployment in Iraq.
Monroe said, "I like just being out here, even if I don't catch anything."
The Mississippi Chapter of the National Soldiers' Angels Program organized the fishing trip.
Jeanne Graeser with Soldiers' Angels said, "I think it helps with their outlook when they come back home after going through a year of stress. It seems to be a recovery for them, and we're glad to do it."
The owner of Sure Thing Fishing Charters donated his boat and time to the soldiers.
"I just wanted to help. These guys do so much for us. It's the least I could do," Sonny Schindler with Sure Thing Fishing Charters said. "Their the reason we're out here with our freedom able to fish and enjoy such a beautiful resource. I just wanted to do something to pay them back."
"Trying to catch that big one, man," Garth said.
You might call it beginners luck, but Garth hauled in the biggest catch, about a dozen in all.
Monroe said, "I think he's going to catch all of the fish, but my grab has been bigger than his fish so far."
Garth said, "I can't thank them enough for doing this for me because I've never done this before in my life."
The Soldiers' Angels program is designed to give comfort and support to the military men and women deployed or wounded all over the world.