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Thread: Fishing trip for wounded Alaska Vets

  1. #1
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Fishing trip for wounded Alaska Vets

    Folks,

    I need your input please and possible assistance-

    Many of you know that I work with our injured soldiers throughout the year developing fishing and hunting trips all over the country including moose hunting and fishing in Alaska a few times every year.

    Thanks to a fantastic donor I have in Anchorage we are organizing a fishing trip out of Soldotna this July for hopefully at least 10 of our wounded Alaska Veterans. The reason I say only ten is because we are hoping to make this an annual event and with a first event I never know what challenges we may run into, the second year of a project is always bigger and better after we get the bugs out as their are people on the ground with new found experience.

    I have a buddy in Anchorage with the DNR that is my guy on the ground in Alaska for this project right now.

    Some ideas we have kicked around so far-

    3-4 days of fishing, a couple days on the Kenai (rainbows and King) and a day or so out of Seward (Lots of fish).

    Big fish award, most caught etc

    Alton Brown the chef may be with us to film for his show cooking for the guys. This will be confirmed once we set the dates. If not Alton a show from the Outdoor Channel.

    At least one of my friends with G Loomis will most likely be with us as well with some gear etc for the guys.

    And of course my buddies at Kershaw knives will be on hand as always to help out etc.

    As you might imagine alot of logistical work has to be done to make something like this go smooth, transportation, lodging, food, volunteers etc.

    Do we have anyone on the forums that might be interested in helping on the ground in the Soldotna area as well as in Seward. We will need info on charter operators interested in working with the guys, we may have a wheelchair or two as well as guys with prosthetic limbs and I am sure folks with head/brain injuries. When I say interested I mean their are times when these guys/gals need more help than others so they have to be prepared for it from a captains or mates perspective and know they are up to it (I always have someone on board familiar with the various injuries).

    If anyone is interested please shoot me a pm or email me and I will get you in the loop.

    Thanks,

    Doug

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    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Seward

    IF this the Combat fishing tournament? I have already given my boat to that event for combat vets.....We have been working through the Saltwater Safari guy here in Seward.

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    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Troops

    AKCapt,

    This is not the same event, I am at this point not aware of the event you are referring to.

    I have been bringing wounded Veterans to Alaska for almost 8 years now to do everything from moose hunt to fish in the summer on the Kenai Peninsula. I have countless volunteers and sponsors that have asked about stepping things up during the summer months and begin an annual 3-4 day project that the guys/gals could count on to happen every year and hopefully be a part of at some point. Unfortunately we can't take everyone that would like to attend every year so basically a draw system is in place so that we can provide the opportunity to as many of the folks as possible and since we also pay for the trip for the guys the budget dictates that we can't take everyone every time. These opportunities are not just for our wounded Alaska Veterans but also for the wounded troops in the lower 48 as just like most sportsman down south, Alaska is a dream destination that they would like to experience.

    Please share some details on the event you referred to, can I help?

    Doug

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    Default YMCA Event

    The Military YMCA puts on a "Combat Fishing Tournament" this year on May 22.

    I am not sure how many but for arguments sake there are about 100 combat vets, many of whom were badly wounded particpate in this event. This is the second year. Crackerjack and Profish-n-Sea donateda total of 4 boats carrying a total of 36 Vets for the event. We are happy to do it but when you do the fishermen math and 200 bucks a seat in lost revanue plus fuel and crew expenses, you can see that this was a donate about about 9000 dollars for this event.
    Saltwater Safari donates about 40 seats for this event and Alaska Offshore and others have also donated their boats for it.

    If every business donates something, every combat vet could come to Alaska to go fishing. With that said there are limits to what a guy can do and for us, this is our limit

    For this reason, you might try another port than Seward for fund raising.

  5. #5
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default

    First,

    This is not a fund raising event, we have never done a fund raiser in Alaska and do not plan on starting now. We have though donated 20k to the Soldotna area to help with the wheelchair accessible fishing platforms on the Kenai Peninsula and we are going to be doing the same thing in Fairbanks shortly. We have also donated a Huntmaster , a piece of equipment that will get a disabled hunter appx 20ft above the ground while hunting, this one is going to Fairbanks and I have been asked to get another for the Anch and Kenai Peninsula area. Again, we have been doing this for many years now and I already have tremendous support from plenty of boat captains that I know as well as those associated with some of my sponsors like G Loomis, Shimano, Outdoor Channel etc in both Seward as well as in Soldotna so captains are not what I am looking for right now and if it came down to it we could always take the entire group down to Homer for Halibut if there were conflicts of any kind.




    Huntmaster

    Thanks

    Doug

  6. #6
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Troops

    AKCapt,

    We do projects like this all over the country for our wounded Veterans. 3 weeks ago we took 17 wounded Veterans including 4 from Alaska down to the Florida Keys to fish a sailfish tournament we do with the Outdoor Channel every year.

    I never did respond to all that you give to your tournament and for that I apologize. People like yourself are all owed a great deal of debt as I know it is an expensive venture to get involved with both time and money. As you have found out is a very rewarding project to get involved with as we owe these guys much more than a fishing trip could ever do to pay them back for their service.

    I say again that if I can be of any help with your tournament please let me know as I would love to do what I could to help even if it is with little things like door prizes etc for the troops.

    Something you might be able to assist me with or perhaps point me in the right direction in regards to your anglers in your Combat fishing tournament. We are going to be taking 4-5 soldiers to next years Super Bowl and I want to make sure our guys and gals in Alaska are aware that they can submit their names to hopefully win a spot. Cody Spencer linebacker for the NY Jets is helping me put this project together and he will also be joining us for the game provided the Jets are not playing but if they are the game and the activities with be that much better for the winners. This trip will be 100% everything included, airfare, hotels etc.

    Thanks,

    Doug

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    Default Seward

    Hi Doug,

    Sounds like a good event and sounds like you have good support, money and publicity.

    I wish you all best and am sure there is no conflict with anything as long as you can get your guys out on a boat in Seward.

    The Combat Fishing deal is on May 22, 2008 anyone in Seward around then should stop by and thank the troops for their sacrifice and efforts.

  8. #8
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Re

    I may try and make the event, I will be going bear hunting again this year out of Homer and should be back in port on the 12th of May or so and if I can pull it off I will try and stick around a little longer and help out if I can.

    "Sounds like a good event and sounds like you have good support, money and publicity."

    Well the organization has been around since 1946 and has done tremendous things since then for our wounded heroes. A former troop myself I am only doing my part for my brothers that were less fortunate than myself. The money part is the hard part as you can imagine but with the great partners and celebrities we have on board it certainly makes raising the money a little easier.

    Thanks

    Doug

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    There is a similar event going on June 1st on the Kenai, as of right now we are expecting over 200 veterns from the Wounded Warrior program. There are some sponsors for the event, it is shaping up to be a great day on the water. I am not the coordinator but was asked last night to participate. Let me know if you want me to get you the coordinators information.

  10. #10
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Yukon,

    That is fantastic, you will really enjoy the project. Unfortunately I will not be back in state until the end of June when we will be making the Huntmaster donation and presentation so I will not be able to make this project.

    I don't know what it is but I have been trying to make the projects bigger in Alaska for more guys for MANY years now as we have many projects down south that same size but the local help with organization etc has never been there south of Anchorage. I have a great thing with our moose hunt in Fairbanks though, we have at least 5 volunteers to 1 hunter ratio and sometimes more.

    Doug

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    I am really looking forward to being able to take these guys fishing and thank them for their service and sacrifice. We have Conoco Phillips and Wright and Magill fishing rods and a few other sponsors. Conoco really stepped up from what I hear W&G is not just donating a few rods but really putting a lot effort, money and time into the project, even flying people up for the event.
    We lost a very good personal friend and huge Veteran's advocate last Spring. A great man from Eagle River, Art Maines, dedicated his life to Vet's (especially homeless vets) and helped make the Sept. 11 fishing day happen. He would be very proud of all the efforts to take care of our soldiers.

  12. #12
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    W&M are good folks, they do alot with us as well. A friend of mine is the sales Mgr.

    You will have a great time.

    Doug

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