NOXEN TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Casting a line out to help empower injured veterans, that’s the goal behind one fishing tournament in Wyoming County.

Since its start back in 2018 Patriots Cove has helped hundreds of injured and ill veterans, first responders, and their caregivers from across the country.

Eyewitness News spoke to its founder, Jeff Swire, Thursday morning ahead of its fifth annual ‘Fish for the Fallen’ fishing tournament taking place this Memorial Day weekend. The calming atmosphere is exactly why Swire bought the property later transforming it into a refuge for injured and ill veterans and first responders.

“I served over 20 years in the united states army, infantry, and combat engineer.”

The non-profit Patriot’s Cove has been helping those in need for the last six years; something Swire says was his second chance at service after medically retiring in 2014.

“I know what a lot of these men and women are going through. Whether it’s pain or sorrow or challenges, and to see what we can do to help heal them and show them that there is something beyond service and the uniform.”

The non-profit’s fifth annual ‘Fish for the Fallen’ fly fishing tournament kicks off Friday, an activity he says is something participants can focus on and step away from their struggles.

This event hits home for Swire as it takes place on Memorial Day weekend.

“I’ve lost men and women serving. I’ve been with families, spent six months of my life with a family that lost a young sergeant, female sergeant, in Afghanistan to a suicide bomber.”

Seven local honorees who lost their lives in the line of duty were selected to be honored and added to its memorial.

“It really brings home the true meaning of Memorial Day. Commemorating those who have, as Abraham Lincoln said, ‘given that last full measure of devotion,’” said Vice President Neil Kosak.

The ‘Fish for the Fallen’ tournament begins Friday at 8 a.m. but non-profit officials say they’re in need of volunteers.

To lend a helping hand to the group, you can visit their page here.