Soldiers sitting on the desert battlefields of
FLW Outdoors along with the West Virginia Bass Federation will stage a National Guard Soldier Appreciation bass tournament this Sunday on the Ohio River in
"It’s getting more and more common and usually a majority of those participating in our tournaments have done at least one tour of duty in
Normally the National Guard appreciation event is held in conjunction with one of the FLW’s nationally sanctioned tournaments. However, not every state is host to one of those mega-events. FLW still wanted to show their appreciation to states with a strong guard presence.
"Yeah, I believe it was. It was decided by the National Guard Bureau and I think it was through their efforts and strength and their ability to provide a guard like that," Stigen said. "The other reason is because
Ten boats will participate in the event. Each boat will be operated by a volunteer member of the West Virginia Bass Federation and will carry two National Guard members. The three will form a team to compete in the event.
Organizers are hoping for a large crowd at Sunday’s weigh-in to pay tribute to the guard members. The weigh-in will be on
"We usually do it at our big events. The soldier tournament weigh-in is before our top 20 weigh-in on Saturday so we already have a large crowd there," Stigen said. "But the funny thing is you get to watch the fans watching the soldiers weigh-in. They always get a standing ovation and the crowd is always fired up for the soldiers to win the tournament."