NAFC members know there’s a special bond that unites us. We at Club Headquarters were given a special reminder of that recently when Army Staff Sergeant Brian Pessink sent an email and a handful of photos to email@example.com.
Shortly after being stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, from his native Tyler, Texas, Pessink got a couple new neighbors—fellow Staff Sergeant James Young of DeLand, Florida, and Master Sergeant Tom Luciano of Bennington, Vermont. Although initially total strangers from different corners of the country, they became instant friends after discovering they were all NAFC members.
Since being united by the Club, the trio of anglers have fished everywhere from local lakes and rivers, where they targeted catfish, to the Louisiana coast, where they chased redfish and black drum.
The soldiers have always made it a priority to spend plenty of time on the water together, but the urge has become even stronger recently, as life is taking each man a different direction. Pessink and his family are soon moving to Hawaii for three years, while Luciano will retire from the Army next year and move to Vermont. Young will stay at Fort Polk.
The men simply don’t know when they’ll see each other again, so they plan to take one last fishing trip in July.
“The NAFC brings people together from all over the States more than you know. We
will live our shared fishing moments forever,” Pessink says. “We’ll always be best friends
and will hopefully find a way to go fishing together again in the future.”
Although they were strangers from different parts of the country, (from left) Army Master Sergeant Tom Luciano, Staff Sergeant Brian Pessink and Staff Sergeant James Young became instant friends through fishing and their membership in the NAFC. Luciano caught a 38-pound black drum (left), and Young caught a 28-pound redfish (right) on a trip to the shipping channel at Cameron, Louisiana. Pessink caught this blue cat (center) on one of the group’s trips to Toledo Bend Reservoir.