Dalton veteran to be featured on Discovery Channel - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dalton veteran to be featured on Discovery Channel

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) -

A military veteran from Dalton is going to be featured on the Discovery Channel Sunday morning.

The show "Operation: Fishing Freedom" allows veterans tell their stories while fishing.

“Here, I got a fish!” John Hitchens exclaimed.

Hitchens spends a lot of his time on the water, rod in hand.

"You can get away and kind of clear your mind out a bit," Hitchens said about fishing, "When I get out here and fish, it's quiet and so beautiful out here, and you're with nature."

This is retirement for Hitchens, and it’s pretty amazing.

"That's a crappy; that's about a foot long!" he exclaimed measuring his latest catch.

But his life wasn't always this relaxing. He spent his career helping others.

"I went into the army at 18-years-old," Hitchens explained.

He’s a Vietnam veteran. During the war, he was an Army medic. He said life after the war was difficult.

"There's just so many things that you just can't describe or can't explain or people would never be able to relate to," he said emotionally.

Hitchens said trying to fit back into society was hard. At first, he struggled with alcohol abuse but overcame that obstacle.

His service didn't stop after the war. He became an ambulance driver, then a medic then worked for the Red Cross.

Memories from his time on the battlefield still pop up.

"When you look up and see the helicopters flying it brings back some memories and some feelings,” Hitchens said.

Now he finds peace in fishing and his other hobby, riding motorcycles.

"Fishing helps a lot,” Hitchens said. “There's never a bad day fishing. A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work."

His full story will be featured on the Discovery Channel in a show called Operation: Fishing Freedom. It features a different veteran each week.

He hopes his story will help other veterans who may be struggling.

His segment will air Sunday at 8:00 am.

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