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LHarris

Sour

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LHarris

Sour

Written by: Len Harris

Photos by: Len Harris

One of my buddies from my old job contacted me. Eric (old buddy) told me that he belonged to a

midwest hunting website. One of the son's of a member was being shipped out to Iraq. The website was

having a going away party for Aaron Sour. He wanted me to come. I had something planned so I didn't go.

Eric emailed me and said the party was a great send off to a real American Hero. I felt for Aaron because I

was in the Army for 7 years and almost ended up in Iran when the embassy was taken over in 1970s.

I saw some of the photos of his send off on the hunting website. Aaron in his uniform was quite impressive.

My days in the service came back to me. I remember the feelings I had of Pride In Country. I smiled at the

photos and decided I was happy I wasn't the one going to Iraq.

Couple years went by. Eric recontacted me. He said that Aaron had gone to Iraq and was injured. The

hunting website was having a benefit for him. Eric wanted to know if I would donate a trip to a fallen veteran.

I have donated numerous Trout Fishing Trips to trout Unlimited Chapters and a few Cancer Drives. It was a NO BRAINER.

Eric said it would be raffled off and the proceeds would be given to Aaron for unpaid medical expenses I

didn't even ask what Aaron's injuries were. I said YES immediately.

Eric told me he would contact me and tell me who had won the Fishing Trip with me at the raffle..The raffle was held late September.

I received notice from Eric in October that the raffle was a HUGE success and my trip was raffled off for 3,000 dollars. A local

VFW post in Iowa was the winner of the raffle. The 3,000 dollars was given to Aaron's dad who was guardian nowadays. Aaron was

unable to make his own decisions because of the severe injuries he sustained in Iraq. The VFW commander said that after the raffle

the entire VFW membership had voted and they voted to give the trip to the Fallen Veteran and his dad. (Phil)

Phil called me right away. He wanted to go trout fishing with Aaron immediately. I told Phil that Wisconsin's season had closed

September 30th. I could tell from Phil's voice he was quite disappointed. We talked throughout the winter. Phil was as excited as

Aaron to go trout fishing. A couple times during the phone calls from Phil I asked questions about Aaron. Phil was very vague.

I asked Phil to talk to his son (Aaron). Phil always had a reason for me NOT talking to his son. Aaron had one infection or another

or was going to therapy or just wasn't up for talking.

I sent Phil and Aaron many photos through the winter of previous trout fishing outings. Phil always told me he passed on

the stories and photos to Aaron. I never did get to talk to Aaron in person. We must have shared 40 emails and 20 phone

conversations through the winter.

As the date grew closer I needed to know what Aaron's physical limitations were. I need to plan a good outing for Aaron and his dad.

Both anglers were worm anglers and had fished Iowa exclusively. They had never fished Wisconsin before. I finally got Phil to tell me

a little about the injuries. Phil was vague and told me that Aaron was in Iraq on the battlefield and his company was attacked in the

middle of the night. Phil said "Aaron was injured very badly." I tried to get more out of him but Phil was kinda selective with his information.

I was to meet Phil in Aaron at the park in my hometown. Phil said they were accomplished campers and he and Aaron had camped many times in the past.

It was raining buckets the day before and I called Phil and tried to re-schedule. I wanted Aaron to have a quality outing. Phil said absolutely NOT. We

were fishing no matter what. He said he didn't care if they caught anything. The father and son NEEDED this outing and they had talked about it

all winter. I said ok I would meet them at first light.

I rolled up on the park and it was still raining buckets. Phil told me they would camp on the far north side of the campgrounds near the river. I found the site right away.

The Iowa license plate was a good indicator and there were NO other campers in the park. I had checked some of the streams on the way to see their clarity.

They were iffy. Phil met me at my truck. He had huge smile and said come meet Aaron. I went in to the tent and met Aaron........ He was sitting in the dark tent

and nodded his head a lot. The rain was still coming down hard. He didn't talk much. Phil did most of the talking. I learned that both of the trout anglers were kinda

new trout fishing and they had fished for bass/carp/bullheads/panfish in Iowa and were QUITE good at it. This was the way Phil described it. I told them that because of their

Iowa plates it would be better if they rode with me. Lots of locals didn't like outta state anglers. Phil said ok.....

I had Both of the anglers change into their gear at the campgrounds. I decided that changing in a dry tent would be better than changing in a down pour.

I had dressed in my waders and gear at home. Both anglers put on hip boots and rain coats Dad tore down the campsite and we pilled in to my truck with all OUR gear..

It was still dark out and we drove to the

stream.........

We parked near the stream. It was not light enough to fish. I thought I should get some more information from the dad and son on their fishing limitations.

Dad said: " Aaron and I fished 5 days a week before he went the to the gulf." Aaron and he were skilled anglers before his accident. Dad told me since the

accident Aaron's balance was poor and his endurance wasn't there anymore. Dad also told me that Aaron's confidence was lacking since his injury and

it was really important to HIM that his son had a good time.

Finally the rain stopped and the sun came out. We fished for 2 hours. Aaron caught 10 trout and his dad caught 2.

Aaron's Proud Father Phil

b2e22122.jpg

Aaron tired out quickly and dad said it was time to go home. We walked back to my truck. Aaron had been quiet most of the outing.

Aaron spoke up on the way back to Dad's truck. He told me he had a wonderful time and hoped we could do it again. I could see his

Dad in the backseat of my truck in my rear view mirror. Dad had such a HUGE smile I thought his face might break. I sent both of them on their

way and thought that this was one of my favorite trips.

...........

...........

Aaron's company was attacked at night. The company had dug foxholes near the Tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers. The armored

vehicles would give them added protection from enemy attacks. Aaron was in his foxhole defending his position and one of HIS company's tanks decided to change

locations for tactical reasons. The tank ran over Aaron's foxhole and crushed Aaron's skull while doing so.

Aaron had nothing bad to say about the military during our fishing trip. He was NOT angry about what happened.

Aaron Sour a true American Hero.

Aaron and his BIGGEST brookie ever

aae50c78.jpg

.......

.......

.......

PS: I have had this story sitting in my DRAFT files for almost five years. I have been waiting

for the correct time to publish this story. The correct time is now. I am finally done with guiding

and this story can be seen for its beauty and not be seen as some type of self-promotion.

Aaron and Phil are doing well and fishing quite often.

fd59da84.jpg

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reddog

Incredible subject and story Len.

Thank you for putting it into words, but most of all:

Thank you and Aaron for your service to the country.

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jwmiller33

that is an awesome story! thank you aaron and every one of our other troops that has fought for our freedom

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      As soon as humanely possible. We have a seasonal cabin that we use year-round, an no road access. Therefore like PSU, we are bound by the ice-out to determine our first open water trip. If I had road access, it would likely be determined by other factors such as snow on the driveway, etc.   If you have plumbing pipes, that is another concern. We haul in our water so I don't have to worry about pipes bursting. About six years ago, I did hook up my lake pump at opener at left it filled with water. When I came back for Memorial Day, the iron housing had cracked due to water freezing.   My general advice is to not avoid the in-between times. They are often the best. Less people are around, you get to see the land and the lake change, when the ice goes out you get to see eagles and other scavengers pick up all the floating winter-kill fish, green starts popping up everywhere, etc. It's a fun time to be in the woods and around the lake. Canoeing through ice or boating through black ice is always a hoot as well!
    • Mike89
      the way things going for him that is most likely true!!!!  🤣😝
    • merc
      Smurfy has fish with his name on them. He must have put another order into Morries.     
    • smurfy
      I know!!😊 but I ain't got anyone to shovel.😞 and after tomorrow's snow I'm hearing grumbling of a huge magor storm for the weekend.
    • BobT
      Does the handle fit otherwise? If so, rather than wait for the OEM to send a screw, I would most likely have gone down to my local Fleet Farm or Menards and found a SS screw to fit. I wouldn't get my shorts too much in a bunch over it. 
    • eyeguy 54
      but are the northerns making flags go up? 
    • Hoey
      Brokie - Without knowing where you are located, I can not recommend a reel shop, is what I recommend doing.  A reel repair shop should be able to help you with your problem.  West side of the TC, Wayzata Bait and Tackle, for example.  
    • Bigfatbert
      I will also add to my above post that the discoveries of this disease in new areas like crow wing co. should not become a panic in that area and the whacking of deer in these areas is truly nonsense. What if one deer survives the mass killing that happens to be infected ,, well then what ? In a herd that annually is around one million in our state , having a handful of sick deer from CWD is not the end to our herd .How many deer actually do test positive from these stupid massive killings when all the bullets are done flying ?? Sooner or later with the now implementation of CWD testing , ,it’s gonna pop up  in new areas either naturally or by the existence of poor oversight and improper management of deer farms . So if this time it’s a deer in Crow Wing Co . So the DNR says let’s whack them all in that area , how bout when one happens to test positive next month in Lake of the woods co  , well let’s whack them all there too , and when one happens to test positive in Itasca or Hubbard co , well let’s whack them also . Before long we won’t have any deer left in our state with this stupid thinking , it won’t be the he disease itself that eliminated our deer herd , it’s the DNR that just eliminated our herd .. killing as many deer in a positive test area does nothing to help the problem..  on another note our DNR management of deer is terrible and many times quotas for upcoming seasons are determined by auto  insurance companies who pressure the state that these areas are carrying to many deer and the herd needs to be thinner in these areas , and thus lowering  the payouts to insured motorists who happen to hit a deer and make a claim. So then the state ups the permits and harvest in these areas to thin out the deer , ahhhh money the root of all evil. Nothing to do with a Biological stance whatsoever. And when these numbers don’t fall within quotas by permits to harvest these extra deer , well then find a deer in those areas that has CWD and kill them all , then the state says “there now we lowered those numbers “ and the insurance companies say thanks . Nooooooo dat don’t happen , does it ??? Hmmmmm !!
    • gunner55
      We're not seasonal anymore but it's been within a week of the Opener before the ice has been out, 3 out of the last 4 years here.
    • Bigfatbert
      Deer farms need more oversight, they need to be strictly regulated with tougher regulations, and extremely  stiff penalties for lack of following these stricter regulations. Wasteful spending of tax payers money to curb this is just that “wasteful “... CWD is not new whatsoever . It first was discovered , I believe ,  way back in the 1960’s , that was when it was first noticed , so it obviously had been around  before that . So good Lord it’s darn near sixty years ,at least of existence  If it was going to be the death of all deer , well then it should of happened by now . Pockets of sickness will occur , but whacking out all the deer in any given area is nonsense. As is implementation of no recreational feeding is also nonsense in a social animal that deer naturally are . Licking , sniffing, sharing natural food sources already naturally occur with deer..It is for the most part a self elimination of the disease by death anyway.. Do what can be done with the farms , and don’t panic , things will be just fine . Time has proven this to be the case.. the numbers  after 60+ years of the existence of this disease speak for themselves ..  there are other deer diseases we should be more worried about anyway as they do  have the potential to setback the herd in large numbers , such as EHD .  Not much can be done to curb the spread of these more potential  deadly diseases either . It just is what it is ... all the more reason to control deer farms as that’s were things like EHD tend to start also .