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Food Truck Invasion Moore Haven

November 6, 2017, 5:00pm - November 6, 2017, 9:00pm

Hello Moore Haven. Food Truck Invasion is going to be giving you some love in 2017. We'll be visiting your town once each quarter so guess when the first one is? We're bringing some of the best fo...

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Operation Outdoor Freedom: Frogging Expedition

For those who may never have had frog legs other than from the menu at an establishment like Lightsey’s, a group of Florida vets recently earned the opportunity to enjoy them the old-fashioned way by participating in an Operation Outdoor Freedom event, “Frogging on Lake Okeechobee” organized by Danny Callahan, Senior Forest Ranger with the Florida Forest Service under the auspices of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Angela Colegrove, Glades County Emergency Management Director.
Sponsored by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam, “Operation Outdoor Freedom” provides wounded veterans with the outdoor activities that they enjoy at no cost. Designated state and agricultural lands throughout Florida grant these veterans unique opportunities for recreation and rehabilitation. The Florida Forest Service, within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has provided hundreds of veterans with the “Operation Outdoor Freedom” experience, and Commissioner Putnam encourages veterans who qualify to register for upcoming events.
Frog gigging is a time-honored hunting tradition in the ‘Glades as well as a means of enjoying fresh frog legs. A group of veteran Glades County hunting enthusiasts and air boaters comprised of Alvin Ward, Wyatt Ward, Gerald Watson Jr, Lonnie Howard, Bobby Yates & TR Wilson donated their airboats, fuel, time, equipment & expertise to lead a group of seven Florida vets on the after dark excursion June 23, launching from Harney Pond Canal at sundown.
“Three of the vets were here last year at our OOF event April 23, 2016,” said Angie Colegrove. “They liked Glades County so much that they couldn’t wait to participate in the frogging experience.”
For all that the Frogging on Lake Okeechobee event this summer, like last spring’s OOF Airboat and Swamp buggy tour on Lake Okeechobee and Fisheating Creek are nature-based events, it’s well to remember that they’re organized to give veterans, many of them combat vets, an opportunity to enjoy some well-earned r and r.
“Speaking for myself and, no doubt, most of my brother vets, I can say that we had a WONDERFUL time,” said OOF Participant Mike Hill in an email to Callahan last spring. “The airboat ride was terrific. I felt like I was back in Afghanistan with an Aussie helicopter pilot flying nap of the earth over water (instead of desert)! Our US pilots weren't allowed to get down on the deck (US policy was to get up to a given height and then fly straight and level to the destination). The Aussie policy was to get low and careen all over the place to avoid direct fire. I think they also used it as an excuse to see how many passengers they could make airsick! That said, all I can say is, "What a ride." It was like LA Driftin' on the water!
“The swamp buggy ride was also awesome. It was like riding in an MRAP without the armor! The view from the top of that vehicle was amazing. We saw deer, eagles, ducks, and all other kinds of swamp birds that I can't even name ... not to mention more alligators than I could count. It was fun to see the "other" end of Fisheating Creek. I also appreciated the fact that I wasn't required to navigate my own canoe on this trip. It was nice not having to worry about whether me and my passenger would wind capsizing on our tour of the WMA!
“All told, it was a memorable and enjoyable day to a part of the state that we might have otherwise overlooked. Thanks for taking the initiative to "make it happen."
The airboat pilots, and the veterans teamed up, three or so to a boat, and headed out into the edges of the swamp where one crew member spotted the frogs using a high beam flashlight, while the veterans took turns gigging the frogs. The frogs are then collected until they can be cleaned and fried, much like the old-fashioned way of catching and panfrying fish.
Event organizers expressed their gratitude to local businesses including Café 27, Kurbside Treats, Beck’s Grocery, Countryside Café & North Lake Estates who supported the event, noting that lodging, logistics, supplies and refreshments are critical for successful outings.
“We look forward to hosting our next event in the fall,” Ms. Colegrove said.
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Sharing now for those who want to participate and for those who want to plan to attend the 5th annual High Heel-A-Thon ... See MoreSee Less

Can you sing, dance or have another family friendly talent? We want you, so start practicing! No entry fee. Talent show starts at 1 pm at the High Heel A Thon, Oct. 7th. Three age categories; under 1...

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