May 29, 2017

How Inshore Anglers Can Honor The Dead On Memorial Day

Memorial Day should be more than another long weekend to do what we please. Instead, here's a great way to honor those who paid the ultimate price.


I used to get so pissed off seeing people blatantly abusing the free time set aside for Memorial Day.

The Girls Gone Wild style of behavior was the worst.

It was so disrespectful that I'd become downright infuriated, and you would too if you had fought beside those who are no longer here.

Not everyone pictured here came back.

Let me tell you something: being angry, feeling bitter, that's no way to live.

There's been a long time to think about it and my feelings have since changed.

Here's the best way to celebrate Memorial Day without losing sight of its meaning.

Setting The Tone

First, let's put you in the boots of someone who's been to war:

You and your closest friends deploy, knowing some will end up dying incredibly horrible deaths, and some do.

recon marines fallujah berm

Fallujah was a life changing experience...for those who were there.

Some are burned beyond recognition before Doc stabilizes them, a ray of hope before they die anyway in the hospital.

Cory Palmer Sniper Fallujah

Cory was always a source of comic relief in our platoon. We all still think about him to this day.

Some expire in a pool of their own blood, cold and alone as their comrades struggle to win the fight.

This is a reality most Americans never experience.

As a result, most see Memorial Day as another long weekend where they get to do whatever they want without actually honoring what it's all about in the first place:

Memorial Day isn't about the living, it's about the dead.

fallen recon marines and sarcs fallujah

This stood over the entrance to 2d Recon's camp. For what it's worth, Lee Deal was a Louisiana boy. Note the fresh paint for SSgt Zimmerman. 

By now you feel somber and understand why I was upset.

With time I let it go and found peace...

What if I had died in combat?

Would I want to be remembered for it?


Would I want everyone to boo-hoo over me?

Not really, because that'd be kind of a buzzkill.

Instead, I'd want everyone to live their lives to the fullest.

It's reasonable to assume the Marines who died on those deployments would want the same.

And one way to do that would be to go fishing.

Seriously, hear me out!

Fishing is more than "just fishing."

Fishing trips have a special power to them other things don't and, as a result, are great tools to dramatically impact someone's life.

army ranger holding redfish

This combat veteran proudly displays the redfish he caught at the 2011 Wounded War Heroes Fishing Rodeo in Empire, Louisiana. Just look at that smile!

Whether they are fighting addiction, overcoming depression or simply need a breath of fresh air, taking someone fishing with you is a noble thing to honor those who have fallen.

We all have that person in our lives, so be their guide to the outdoors and plant that seed.

Besides, there's a difference between going fishing because you can, and going fishing to serve a higher purpose.

Spread The Word

This is a powerful message. People need to hear it.

If you know someone who does, please share this with them.

That would mean the world to me.

Thank you, and rip some lips for Memorial Day!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a veteran of the Iraq War and former fishing guide. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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    PLEASE REMEMBER all of our armed force personnel past, present and in the future! All of these people were/are our rural protectors/soldiers. Be thankful for our urban-protectors/soldiers: law enforcement, firefighters AND all first responders! John Castelluccio, Jr.

  • US ARMY 1964-1970. Tried to post a picture but it wouldn’t let me. lost some friends in NAM. Respect them.

  • Thank you for your service and just a awesome Memorial Day post to share a wake-up call for those who take things for granted. This is a day to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy because of those who keep the wolf off Americas door. I will share this post with my Coast Guard step-son and others in the bayou land that love our country and use our fishing experience to bond and share lasting memories.

  • That’s cool your son was in the 82nd. I went to Jump School in 2005, and the kids going to the 101st had to do 101 pushups and the kids going to the 82nd had to do 82. I’m from 2d Recon so I guess I only had to do two.


    Thanks for commenting!

  • Thanks for your service… This is some good stuff I personally bring 2 vets every year and the trip is on me thats the very least I can doI regret to say I don’t think one will be making it to much longer

  • Devin, being a Marine who served in Vietnam for three months in 1969 before being evacuated out I sincerely appreciate this post. Unless you have been in combat and lost friends or a family that has lost loved ones you really can’t appreciate the significance of Memorial Day and it’s true meaning of honoring the men and women who gave their lives fighting for this country. Semper Fi

  • Devin, thank you for your service. My son was a combat medic 82nd Airborne. I am very proud of him and so lucky he made it back home. As a member of the VFW Auxiliary in Lacombe, I appreciate what he, you and all our other soldiers have done to ensure our freedom. I hope everyone reading your blog will remember what Memorial Day really means. I don’t get to go fishing as often as I’d like but I do enjoy reading your posts.
    Tight lines, Devin!

  • AMEN!!! to that man!!!
    Thank God for those who sacrificed their lives, so we can Live & Fish in this Great Country!

  • Thank you for sharing this powerful story and thank you for serving and sacrificing to keep this country safe.

  • Devin,
    Thank you for your service. I’m glad you made it out alive. I’m sorry for the loss of all the Recon Marines who fought beside you. Go fishing folks, take a combat veteran. Make it a good day!

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