Amputee Veterans Enjoy The Outdoors Thanks To Nonprofit
For the past ten years, the Arkansas Freedom Fund has continued to honor our state's veterans. "I would say it's in the thousands," said board member Jim Sawyer. The non-profit is all about getting veterans into nature. "The outdoors is just a peaceful place," he said, to restore their mental and physical wellness.
Fellow board member Pat Mulligan added that the non-profit is "trying to give them something to do than to sit at home and be depressed or think about things they went through in their lives."
The list of opportunities to do something in the outdoors is long.
"They do hunting," he explained, "fishing, golf, biking, martial arts." And everything they do, is available for every veteran, no matter their injury. "Even if they're an amputee, they can play golf."
AAF has adaptive equipment for everything, including this incredible, tank-looking vehicle for hunting. And it's a good thing because there's a lot of land to cover. "The veterans can hunt on this 650 acres anytime," Mulligan explained.
Understandably, not all veterans want to be around gunfire. "If somebody just wants to come down and camp there's bass lakes there as well," he said. "They can fish if they don't want to hunt."
And anglers don't even have to get their hands dirty. Which is a good thing, apparently, for this Navy veteran.
"Jim likes to go fishing," joked Mulligan, "because he doesn't have to touch any fish."
These experiences are completely free, and they aren't just for the veteran. It's for their entire family.
"If they need a bike and their family needs a bike, the AFF will provide a bike for them and their family so they can all go biking and fishing and hunting."
And when the trip is through, the stories remain.
"They'll tell you detail by detail, the excitement it's neat to see that."
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