The Mission Outdoors Manifesto
You persevered on the battlefield.
Your perseverance lead to character.
Your character planted hope in your soul.
But darkness lurked.
Life doesn’t always go as planned.
There are shadows.
There are whispers in the dark of night.
Nobody cares anymore.
Those voices and memories that haunt you…that stalk you…that eat away at your hope….those voices that question your character…that gnaw away at your perseverance…
Those. Voices. Are. Lies.
You are a warrior.
You are a hero.
And you weren’t made to live this life alone.
We are Mission Outdoors.
We exist to remind you of who you are
To call you back into relationship with your brothers and sisters.
We believe that hope grows outdoors. On the water. On a hunt. On the slopes. On a trail.
We believe that you were made for a purpose.
We are here to help you find it.
We don’t have all of the answers, but we know this:
And we’re here to fight by your side.
To develop character.
To find hope.
What is Mission Outdoors? With founder Ryan Elwell
Seven years ago, I received what turned out to be a fateful phone call.
A dear friend on the other end of the line said simply: “Will you bring your boat? We’re short on boats for veterans to fish.”
The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.
On that fateful trip, I met Josh, a veteran suffering from PTSD. Josh was there with his dad, who pulled me aside on the first day before we headed out to fish.
“Josh is angry, but I’m here, and he’ll be okay.”
I was nervous, but something in this proud dad’s voice made me trust him.
On that first day on the water, we must have caught 30 tuna. What started out as a group of stone-faced men became a community. All afternoon and into the evening, the talking increased. Laughter filled the boat.
And I’ll never forget the moment I looked up from the water to see something I would have told you was impossible that morning:
Josh was laughing too.
His dad told me that night back on land: “Josh used to work as my deckhand back home in San Diego. We all called him Happy Josh because he laughed so much. This is the first time I’ve seen Happy Josh in a long time.”
Mission Outdoors doesn’t just mean that we’re going fishing. We’re here to lure guys outside, get them connected with a group of people who care about them, and get them re-engaged in their own communities filled with something too many of our American heroes haven’t felt for a long time:
I hope you’ll take a minute today to consider partnering with Mission Outdoors to help even more veterans like Josh and his day. You can volunteer for an upcoming event, tell a veteran you know about Mission Outdoors, or consider a financial contribution so that we can offer more experiences to more veterans.