With fishing poles in hand, countless veterans attended Saturday's annual Veterans Fishing Derby held at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

With fishing poles in hand, countless veterans attended Saturday's annual Veterans Fishing Derby held at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
The event began around 9 a.m. and within just a matter of minutes, you would see the veterans catch their limit of four trout. One such veteran was Norman Knight, of Carthage, but formerly of Neosho.
"I sure appreciate all of this, this is the nicest time of the year for (veterans) to come down here and associate with my friends and veterans and to Neosho which I love," he said smiling with his catch of the day.
Knight served during Korean War.
All equipment and supplies were provided to the veterans, including fishing poles, bait, stringers, bobbers, hooks.
"I used corn and worms, it doesn't make any difference as long as you put a lot on it (the fishing hook)," said Knight.
After the veterans caught the fish, volunteers cleaned and bagged the fish for them  to take home.
"One of these nights I will have the kids down and we will have a fish fry," Knight said.
Robert Schroer of Joplin has been coming to the derby for two years.
"A buddy of mine has been coming for several years and said I need to come down here," said Schroer. "It is very good outing for a lot of the vets, talk and visit. This is a very neat program that they do for those guys."
Schroer - who served in Vietnam in 1966-70 - said he has been fishing for years.
"My dad took me fishing when I was 7 or 8, probably 60 years. I still enjoy it," he said. "We fish other places like Roaring River, we put them (fish) together and have a big fish fry a little later on."
The veterans were treated to a hot dog lunch and other the derby ended at 1 p.m.