"It's an absolute honor to give back to the community and to recognize our vets," is Neosho National Fish Hatchery Manager Rod May's answer to why the Neosho National Fish Hatchery hosts a fishing derby for service men and women each year. May is the superintendent of the local hatchery,

"It's an absolute honor to give back to the community and to recognize our vets," is Neosho National Fish Hatchery Manager Rod May's answer to why the Neosho National Fish Hatchery hosts a fishing derby for service men and women each year. May is the superintendent of the local hatchery,
This year's derby is scheduled for Saint Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, beginning with registration at 8 a.m. and the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. All fishermen must register on Derby Day and show a Military I. D. There is no pre-registration. The first 200 to register will receive a souvenir tee-shirt.
The Neosho High School ROTC will present the flag, "Four Old Guys," a men's quartet from Neosho, will perform the National Anthem and there will be a short blessing, given by Dick Keezer.
All fishing will stop at noon and a picnic lunch will be available.
Fishermen should not bring their own fishing equipment or bait. All gear and bait will be furnished, courtesy of the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery. There is a limit of four trout and the rule is "Catch and Release." All fish that are caught must be kept and counted in the total. Volunteers will clean and bag the fish in ice if the fisherman desires.
Fish cleaners are always needed and are invited to come and help the vets. "It's a privilege to volunteer and get to meet some remarkable people," said Russell Hively, president of the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
This is the 7th Veterans Derby at the hatchery. The first derby was started in 2012 by a group of outdoor men and women from McDonald County, led by Dan Fuller.
Hively, also a veteran, said, "We are happy to serve the men and women who have served us for part of their lives."