Horton honored for helping wounded veteransPublished 11:17pm Monday, October 14, 2013
For the FCT
SHEFFIELD — Ronald Defreitas calls Franklin County native Timmy Horton amazing for what he does to help others.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, DeFreitas, founder and executive director of the Virginia-based Reel American Heroes Foundation, presented an American flag to Horton for his work to help wounded soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. DeFreitas said Horton, a professional angler and outdoors television personality who now lives in Muscle Shoals, has gone above and beyond to make fishing opportunities available to wounded veterans and active duty military men and women.
“He has given his time, fishing equipment and money to help us get these American heroes back on the water,” DeFreitas said. “He is truly an amazing individual.”
The flag Horton received had flown aboard a medevac helicopter in Afghanistan. Horton also received an autographed photograph of the helicopter crew.
The surprise presentation took place during Horton’s annual Fishing for Kids where he and dozens of volunteers take special needs children and adults fishing on Pickwick Lake.
Horton choked back tears when he received the flag and photo.
“I’ve received a lot of awards over the years, but this one is the coolest ever,” Horton said.
He commended DeFreitas and the other Reel American Heroes volunteers for helping veterans.
DeFreitas said fishing is recreational therapy for heroes who are recovering from war-related injuries.
“We get them out on the water to lift their spirits,” DeFreitas said.
Horton said seeing a wounded veteran get back on the water and fish is heart-warming. “That is what makes your heart tick. That is what makes the world go around.”