ORLEANS - When he was a young man, Mark Vecchione of Eastham loved to hang out at Rock Harbor and see the fishing boats. On Sunday, as they’ve done for the last decade since he was killed in action in Iraq, volunteers held a day-long fishing trip in his memory.
“It was a great day,” said Michelle DeSilva of the nonprofit Cape Cod Cares For Our Troops, which organized the event. The day honors Sgt. Vecchione’s memory while providing a day of fun and camaraderie for other active duty military members and veterans. “And it’s grown over the years,” DeSilva said. “We had veterans coming from as far away as Ohio this year.”
Guests were taken out for free on 10 charter boats from Rock Harbor Charter Service, as well as four independent boats whose captains and crews volunteered their time. The departing boats received a blessing from a local clergyman aboard the historic CG36500 rescue boat, and Vecchione’s mother tolled the boat’s bell for each passing charter boat. In all, about 60 veterans and active duty military members took part in the fishing, and even more attended the free barbecue that followed at the Brewster VFW post.