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I have had the pleasure of being on a few hunts with OFOH. Each of these hunts has provided me with unique experiences of healing. Whether it was talking with Jason himself, other OFOH staff, or other veterans; I have taken something new away from each experience. Most notable was the deer hunt in Eastern Washington OFOH sent me on last year. It was amazing to see so many animals, to be able to share my experiences with my guide, and to be able to harvest my first deer in 28 years. More importantly, there were two other disabled veterans on the trip (one that was just leaving the next day and one that stayed with me during the 3 day hunt). We shared our experiences in service, joked around, and talked about some of the struggles that we face. One thing I realized is that even though our experiences were very different; they affect our lives similarly. We experience very similar struggles psychologically and emotionally.

I am not one to openly share my struggles with strangers. When OFOH sent me on my first hunt (my first ever duck hunting trip) with Jason I realized that hunting with another person, even though I had only met Jason once before, put me in a more relaxed frame of mind and made me more comfortable sharing my story. That trip set me up for success on future hunting trips with OFOH. It allowed me to feel more comfortable talking with other disabled veterans on these trips. That is what sets Outdoors For Our Heroes apart from some other organizations; they believe in continuing support for disabled veterans. They realize that our heroes need more than one opportunity at healing and these hunts provide an opportunity for disabled vets to generate a network of friends who are also disabled veterans. I appreciate OFOH more than words can express! When Jason first introduced me to OFOH I was probably at my lowest point mentally that I had ever been. Things had gotten bad enough where I sought help from a psychologist (something I never thought I would do). I would say that my hunts with Outdoors For Our Heroes has done just as much for me as my psychologist. It’s not just the hunts; it’s the network, the knowledge, and shared experiences that make it so effective. The staff at OFOH truly cares about each and every one of us disabled veterans and our healing. Thank you OFOH!

Travis Puryear
Disabled Army Veteran, Medically Retired