Disabled Veteran Takes On A Mission

Sgt. Joe Kowalski inspires others to take Veterans fishing
Disabled Veteran Takes On A Mission

Disabled Veteran Takes on a Mission

Sgt. Joe Kowalski (USMC, Ret.) is a man on a mission.  The 52-year old, disabled Gulf War Veteran from Cheshire, CT discovered that fishing helped him manage his PTSD.  Once Joe realized how fishing was helping him, he figured it could help other veterans, so he started a fishing outreach program.

Named after his lifelong friend, The Maj. Stephen Roy Andrews Fishing Outreach Program is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that funds Kowalski’s fishing trips for veterans and under privileged kids.

Kowalski’s service to our country as a Marine, and his dedication to his fellow veterans and returning service members made him a natural fit for a new television series dedicated to recognizing heroes, creating awareness for their needs and illustrating the therapeutic value fishing provides.

Kowalski was tapped for a supporting role in the series by friend and show co-creator, Keith Alan. The two met in 2006 when Kowalski was on a show called “Rods & Wheels” and Alan was working for ESPN/BASS.  “I bumped into Sarge again at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans, and I knew he would be interested in our project. I told him about it and asked if I could call on him for some help”, recalls Keith Alan.  Always eager to support his fellow veterans, Kowalski obliged.

After production on the Ultimate Fishing Experience TV Series began, Keith Alan and crew traveled to Cheshire, CT to shoot a feature on Joe’s fishing outreach program.  Keith states, “After spending the week with Sarge visiting VA hospitals and Marine bases and taking veterans fishing, I realized that he was as deserving as anybody of the opportunity to be the featured Hero in his own episode of the show.  So we set the wheels in motion to surprise Sarge with his own Ultimate Fishing Experience.”

The show is, in fact, full of surprises and Kowalski’s reactions speak to the impact they will have on his life and the lives of his fellow veterans. Executive Producer, Jason Wald adds, “Sarge is so endearing.  When his episode premiered, he inspired a lot of people to write us because they wanted to help his program or get info on how to start one like it. It's so rewarding to know that the show is moving people like this.”  Initially broadcast as the series premiere in January, the episode titled “Fond Memories” features Kowalski bass fishing on the world famous Lake Toho in Kissimmee, FL with Pro Bass Angler, Bobby Lane.

The episode will air again in primetime this Thursday Feb. 16th at 8:30 pm EST on the NBC Sports Network.

Produced by Under The Bridge Productions LLC in association with the NBC Sports Network.

Viewers are invited to nominate a Hero to be on the show at http://ultimatefishingexperience.com.

For more info contact Under The Bridge Productions LLC at 407-493-4201 or info@ultimatefishingexperience.com.

Under The Bridge Productions LLC  I  4213 Kandra Court  I  Orlando, FL 32812  I  phone  407-493-4201


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American Outdoors Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation committed to creating and supporting programs and projects that provide, improve or enhance opportunities for Veterans, children and families to enjoy outdoor activities.  Our mission is to distribute equipment and grant money to Veteran, Youth and Conservation based programs and charities, and to increase public awareness on the needs of the charitable causes we support

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