"Always lead from the front" is a quote often connected to soldiers, and was repeatedly used by Rhode Island National Guard Staff Sgt. Christopher Potts.
"It was always his saying," said his friend Ralph Craft, friend and former president of the Aquidneck Island Striper Team.
After 14 years of military service, Sgt. Potts was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery Regiment and deployed to Iraq.
On Oct. 3, 2004, Sgt. Potts and his team were conducting a regular combat patrol in Taji, Iraq, when insurgents attacked the traffic control post. In an attempt to contain the insurgents and protect his team, he ordered his men to stay back and he was fatally wounded.
He died on his 38th birthday.
The Aquidneck Island Striper Team will honor SSG Potts' memory and raise money for his family at the 8th annual SSG Christopher Potts Fishing Tournament to be held from Friday, Sept. 6, to Sept. 14.
"Chris was an avid fisherman. He loved to spend time fishing with his family. In his memory, we gather annually to fish with his family and friends," said organizer Capt. Mike Littlefield.
This year's tournament will begin on Friday, Sept. 6, at noon and end at noon on Saturday, Sept. 14.
A benefit will be held at the Portuguese American Citizen Club in Portsmouth on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Riverside Marine, Sam’s Bait & Tackle, Lucky Bait & Tackle and Saltwater Edge.
There will be food, prizes, raffles and music at the benefit.
In order to make this fundraiser a continued success, organizers need your help with food, raffle, and prize items.
Donations, including fishing equipment, gift certificates, a monetary donation or food for the benefit, will be accepted at any of the participating tackle shops or through www.AIStriperTeam.com.
Donations may be mailed to Riverside Marine, c/o SSG Christopher Potts Fishing Tournament, 211 Riverside Drive, Tiverton, RI 02878.
More information can be found at www.AIStriperTeam.com.