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Home News Legionnaire shares story of captivity and healing

Legionnaire shares story of captivity and healing

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The Discovery Channel's show Operation: Fishing Freedom brings veterans from all war eras out on the open water to provide healing from the effects of war and to capture their wartime stories that are foundational to America's history.

Operation: Fishing Freedom launched its first season in 2017 with American Legion Post 534 member Darrell Krenz of McFarland, Wis. Krenz, a Korean War veteran, shared his story of joining the U.S. Army, being held a prisoner of war for more than three years, and his journey to healing.

Part of his healing came 37 years ago after joining Post 534. Krenz created a memorial behind the post that's dedicated to all veterans for their service and sacrifice. And hundreds of American flags wave above the hill that the memorial sits on.

On the day of his release as a POW, Krenz hugged a flagpole with the American flag. He said a lieutenant came over and told him, "'Son, someday you will have all the flags you want.' That's why I started the memorial. It's my way of giving back."

Watch the episode of Krenz here.

The shows co-founders are professional anglers Jay Garstecki and Ben Olsen.

“In a fishing boat, people tend to talk,” said Garsteck in a press release. “We launched Operation: Fishing Freedom to get veterans on the water, get them talking, and share their stories. Ultimately it’s about healing, letting go and moving on. It has been amazing what the veterans we’ve had the pleasure of fishing with have shared. Truly, it’s been an honor.”

The next season of Operation: Fishing Freedom is scheduled to air on the Discovery Channel beginning in January 2019.

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