Tomah VA Fire Dept. donation helps local veterans go ice fishing

Ice shanty donated for another recreational opportunity

The VA Fire Department donated an ice shanty to the medical center on Thursday so veterans can have another recreational opportunity.

The shanty, which is wheel chair accessible, features six holes for ice fishing, a TV to use with an underwater camera, and a heater inside.

The firefighters used donations from a number of local businesses and have been working on this in their spare time since November.

“We were doing a building inspection and they had some old ice fishing gear and no shanty, no place to go, and I talked to somebody, one of the gals here and they had said ‘yeah, we would, but it’s kinda tough, it’s cold out, you know, and our guys get cold easy’ so I said, well, we can do that,” said the Tomah VA Fire Department Captain Chad Marti.

The shanty will be set up on Lake Tomah for the VA staff to take veterans on outings.

“This is a great way to get out and get a litlte fresh air, hopefully catch a fish or two, have a lot of fun and try something new or something they haven’t done in a really long time,” said Tomah VA Recreation Therapist Erik Harvieux.

“There’s enough room for quite a few guys and sit in here and fish and be quite enjoyable,” said veteran Tony Sleeman.