Fishing & Fellowship for Freedom

Fishing & Fellowship for Freedom

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Denver dentist Dr. Herbert S. Wilmer and his wife Laura started an outreach program in February 2012 to benefit military personnel who have recently returned from deployment. They routinely sponsor fishing trips for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and now you can, too.

The goal is to recruit sponsors for fishing trips for military personnel three times per year to the King Fisher Society Lodge, a premier fishing and hunting lodge in Laurel Hill, North Carolina. The lodge accommodates four people and four guests, and sponsors are invited to come spend the weekend with the soldier they sponsor.

“We felt so fortunate he got back from both tours without major injuries that we wanted to do something for military personnel.”

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The Wilmers started this outreach because they both come from military families. Dr. Wilmer served in the U.S. Navy as a dentist for eight years. Each of their fathers served in World War II, and Dr. Wilmer’s grandfather served in World War I. Their son Chip serves in the U.S. Army and has been deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chip is the inspiration behind the desire to do something for members of the armed forces.

“We felt so fortunate he got back from both tours without major injuries that we wanted to do something for military personnel,” Dr. Wilmer says.


The outreach began with the Wilmers sponsoring four solders from Fort Bragg on a two-day fishing trip. Hank Parker, a former professional fisherman and host of Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine show, fished and spent time with the soldiers during the trip.

“It was such a great trip and the soldiers enjoyed it so much, we decided to set up a deal where people can sponsor a soldier to come to the lodge and spend some time in a beautiful, peaceful setting,” Dr. Wilmer says. “It’s a great way to give them time to decompress a bit after coming back from deployment.”


The soldiers who went on the first trip were so appreciative, Dr. Wilmer says, adding that he and his wife still keep in touch with them.

“They told us that sometimes they get the feeling the general public doesn’t care what goes on with those in the military who are deployed, and that it was nice to see that people do care and want to do things with them,” the Denver, NC family dentist says. “We definitely felt like it boosted their morale, and it was great spending time with these brave men.”

If you would like more information about sponsoring a soldier for a future fishing trip, please complete the form below to contact Dr. Wilmer.

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2 Responses to "Fishing & Fellowship for Freedom"
  1. Gray Keenum says:

    Recently I returned back to the US from a tour in Iraq. Shortly after I was chosen to fish with Hank Parker on a weekend fishing trip sponsored by Dr.Wilmer. Everyone that I met and fished with, the food I ate, the guides and all that were involved were a class act. I would never be able to put into words how much I appreciate everything that was done for me. I was honored to have been chosen and I will always have great memories of that weekend!
    PFC Gray Keenum
    82nd Airborne
    Fort Bragg, North Carolina

  2. Greg Thomas says:

    How do you sign up..?. Im a retired disabled veteran that served in Iraq 07 08……I would love to go on a weekend fishing trip with Hank or whoever please reply back……

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