M.A.D. IV

June 19, 2009


Military Appreciation Day

Year 4

Military Appreciation Day is an event organized by volunteers to provide a day of fishing for our Active Duty Military, Guard and Reservists. The event also includes activities for their families and a southern style cookout.

The M.A.D. organization and their annual events honoring our troops was started 4 years ago as the by-product of a temper-tantrum thrown by Rodney Carroll, Dan Smith and John Polosky.

In February of 2006 a newspaper in Wilmington, NC published a story about restaurants that were refusing entry to a group of Marines who had just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Rodney, Dan and John were outraged and thus the tantrum.

Within a few weeks they raised almost $1000 and with the help of a donated van and a few marines they set forth on a mission to change this policy and pay tribute to those who have served America.

As they visited these restaurants and spent time with these young marines they were overwhelmed with the desire to show appreciation for our true American Heroes.

Military Appreciation Day was born!

On May 30, 2009 M.A.D. held their fourth annual day of Appreciation. Approximately 450 troops were signed up for fishing, and later that afternoon over 900 military personnel and their families were treated to that southern style cuisine called a pig pickin’.


The signs that read “This Aint Berkeley” are a reminder and reference to the vulgar treatment of military recruiters by the anti-war crowd in Berkeley CA.

For several years, the city of Berkeley has allowed (encouraged) leftist groups including Code Pink to protest, obstruct, harass, assault and vandalise the recruiting operation in that city.

But that’s California, what can a North Carolina patriot say except “This Aint Berkeley”?

The Docks 0500 (Barely Daylight)

Most boat assignments are done ahead of time, volunteers process the registrations of the soldiers and direct them to their assigned boat and captain.

Boat Captain and Soldier fisherman meet for the first time.

Headed out for the Gulf Stream.

Mom and daughter watch Dad’s boat as it pulls away.

Preparations for the Feast

While the troops were boarding boats and heading out, other volunteers were busy getting ready to start cooking.

I had a couple of the cooks to help me put up my big flag.

Donny ‘Cowboy’ Suddarth, Sanford N.C.

Doug ‘Fatback’ Jones, Wendell N.C.

Frank ‘Dawg’ Davis and Crew, Wendell N.C.

Family Entertainment

Other volunteers were at the docks, to help the kids of fishing troops do some fishing too.

Rodney ‘Yakfisher’ Carroll’s Back

At the main park, the kids had the big balloon thing they jump around in …

and a climbing wall (courtesy Army National Guard),

a dunking tank

Face painting

Emmit making cotton candy

Snow Cones!

The Bethesda Bluegrass Boys, Durham N.C.

The USMC Band

A tour ship was available for families to take a tour of the Carolina coastline.

The wild horses of Oak Island

Fishin’

The boats return, and the guys show off their catches.

Cookin’s done, almost ready for supper.

200 volunteers cooked 6 pigs, 300 pounds of chicken and served over 900. 87 volunteers donated their time and use of their boats.

None of these people were paid. All time, work, boats, food and music were donated – free of charge – as an installment payment on a debt of honor.

The wild horses of Oak Island

Fishin’

The boats return, and the guys show off their catches.

Cookin’s done, almost ready for supper.

200 volunteers cooked 6 pigs, 300 pounds of chicken and served over 900. 87 volunteers donated their time and use of their boats.

None of these people were paid. All time, work, boats, food and music were donated – free of charge – as an installment payment on a debt of honor.

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