Veteran Sportsmen Group Gives Veterans Fun,Free Adventures

Posted at 9:48 PM, Oct 25, 2016

NewsChannel 5 and Operation Finally Home honored two veterans who started a non-profit to cultivate camaraderie among servicemen and women of all ages.

Mack Hagewood is an Army veteran who began “Veteran Sportsmen” several years ago. The idea was simple: take veterans on fishing and hunting trips, or even to a NASCAR race – all free of charge.

One of the first events was a fishing tournament, but Mack had trouble organizing such a large event by himself. Then by chance, he met Kevin Brooks, a Navy veteran, who wanted to help.

"As soon as I heard what he was wanting to do, I had to be a part of it. And I told him I'm in, I want to be a part of this," Brooks said.

Together, they raised money, gathered donations, and invited area veterans to a fishing tournament on Percy Priest Lake last month. It was a huge success, with 95 veterans taking part.

So when Hagewood heard about NewsChannel 5’s “Salute to Veterans” program, he didn’t hesitate to nominate his friend.

"The reason I nominated him was very simple. That tournament would not have been possible without Kevin. He went so far as to put off his hip surgery until after the tournament, which was unreal, because this man was in a lot of pain," Hagewood said.

What he didn’t realize was Kevin Brooks had already nominated Hagewood. A shared friendship, and a shared recognition of their service to fellow veterans.

"It's an honor. Anything for veterans. You know what I mean, it's amazing. It really is,” Brooks said.

The two stopped by the NewsChannel 5 newsroom last week to receive their gift cards. They say they’ll use them to purchase supplies for their next fishing tournament, scheduled for next Spring. Information about the group can be found here: