Operation Outdoors: Giving Back Thanks to the Soldiers

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EdwardsBlogAccording to a recent case study that I purchased it states that 71% of today’s active duty soldiers consider themselves sportsman and anglers. For several years now my wife Rebecca and I decided that it was time to do something special about honoring the troops. With that being said we created the largest ever give back to the troops within the outdoors with a program called Operation Outdoors USA.

June 28th, 2005 is a day I will never forget. At age 25 I was sitting in a Cancer ward with an IV pumping chemo into my chest port wondering what I would do different in life if the lord granted me a 2nd chance to live. After all I have been blessed with a successful career in the ESPN Bassmaster circle…although living a dream was great, it simply was no longer fulfilling to me. The pre cancer me, was all about trying to advance in tournament rankings and gather larger financial endorsements, none of the above helped me when I felt like I was dying. As minutes turned to hours in the chemo room I remember looking up to the TV. It was the national news playing; however it was the ticker on bottom of the screen that got my attention. It stated that 4 US Navy SEALs were missing in action – presumed dead. This woke me up inside and gave me additional motivation. I might be sick…but at least I have a chance to live I remembered thinking.

Fast forward to 4 years later I gave up competitive fishing to start our National fishing show “Jarrett Edwards Outdoors”. While traveling to a sponsor function my wife purchased a book for me to read on the long plane ride. The book was Lone Survivor by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. About a quarter of the way through the book it hit me that Mr. Luttrell was one of the 4 US Navy SEALs presumed dead that I had seen on TV. He was the lone survivor and his amazing book and actions motivated me to reconsider what I’m doing with my 2nd chance at life.

My wife Rebecca and I decided to create the Operation Outdoors USA soldier program to help give back to those who have sacrificed so much for their country. For generations, every minute of every hour of every day US military personnel have kept us safe as a country, many hundreds of thousands giving their life to do so. To help give back we have created Operation Outdoors USA as a simple way to help honor and show appreciation for those many men and women who continue to pay it forward. Every day, there are those humble veterans within every city and state who choose to give back in their own unique ways – we want to find them and have you the viewer vote on your favorite stories.

We are excited to publicly acknowledge and reward those who have given back to their country and neighboring communities. Operation Outdoors USA is solely funded by my wife and I who choose to lead by example to want to give back in our small, humble way. We have saved for this program for a few years now and are excited for what the future brings!

We are middle class citizens who simply want to do our part. We do NOT profit in any way shape or form from our program, we encourage those who want to give to help donate their time and finances to the Lone Survivor Foundation. lonesurvivorfoundation.org

Lastly I would like to thank all of our long time sponsors for supporting us so we can help support others. For 11 years now Rebecca and I have made our living from our endorsements and have been blessed to represent our fine partners who see and believe in our media company as well as our US Military.

Now this is the part where you help, do you happen to know of any soldier (active or retired) who goes above and beyond in your community? If so please read next week to learn how to nominate them and give them a chance to win a trip of a lifetime! Together, one step at a time we CAN make a difference!