This past Thursday, Mrs. Nicole Tyra and her five-year-old son, Cadyn, joined me for a morning of fishing on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.
Due to his young age, I wanted to gauge Cadyn’s manual dexterity and ability to follow directions before we began our trip so I would know what he could and could not do as our adventure unfolded. To do this, I placed a nine-foot bream pole, which is not equipped with a reel, in his hands and gave him some basic instructions about what to do when a fish grabbed the baited hook and pulled his float beneath the surface.
Cadyn did really well. So well, in fact, that in under 5 minutes he had already boated two longear sunfish and a blacktail shiner. As we were working on catching Cadyn’s fourth fish, I overheard his mom, who was in the rear of the boat, say, “Honey, watch this. Cadyn’s catching fish and he’s doing so good!”.
To my amazement, Cadyn’s father, U.S. Army Specialist Nick Tyra, was watching his son fish in real time from his post in South Korea where he was just wrapping up the day we were just beginning. He did all of this via his wife’s Samsung cellular phone.
Tyra encouraged and praised his son for his accomplishments, got to view a few of the fish we’d placed in the livewell, and then bid his family farewell, but not before “posing” for a photo with the rest of his family as Cadyn proudly displayed one of his fish.
Specialist Tyra is one of a large contingent from Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Division now deployed to South Korea. Tyra, a tracked vehicle mechanic originally from Indiana, has been in the Army since 2010.
Using a technology offered through Facebook called “Messenger”, Tyra is able to keep up with his family of five, which also includes two younger children, two-year-old Bentley, and eight-month-old Carson.
During their “date”, mother and son were able to enjoy the outdoors together while Mrs. Tyra’s father, visiting from Arizona, babysat her younger two children. Tyra cheered her son on in landing a total of 39 fish and one turtle. Cadyn was introduced to bait fishing, downrigger fishing, and fishing with a spinning outfit. For his efforts, he landed a total of 7 species of fish including white bass, bluegill sunfish, longear sunfish, freshwater drum, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and blacktail shiners.
As we parted ways in the parking lot following our fishing trip, Cadyn hugged my leg and a very grateful mom thanked me for offering this opportunity to her and other Army families.