WELCOME TO A NEW YEAR-NEW OPPORTUNITIES!!
Well folks, we've done it. We have survived the cold blasts of January, iced over streams, and snowy fishing days. But we're not quite out of the winter fishing season yet! There are still many opportunities for those willing to brave the cold to find some quiet, peaceful days on a river somewhere. I know I will be!
AWOL Angler is screaming into the New Year with more exciting news than ever. This year we expect to serve more Veterans than ever before with more fishing opportunities, conservation opportunities, new locations, new events...new happy, fulfilled lives.
In this Newsletter-February 2022- I wanted to bring you all up to speed on our recent successes, plans for operations this year, and more.
WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH PATRIOT ANGLERS-NORTH TEXAS!!!
Those of you following along recently on our social channels have had a bit of an introduction to this amazing organization already. Patriot Anglers recently hosted AWOL on one of their Veteran Fly Fishing trips in Broken Bow Oklahoma, and let me tell you what, they did not disappoint.
It is a rare thing in our world to come in contact with others who share the same system of deep values, passion for helping others, and aspiration to make it happen, but we have certainly found a match in this organization. Patriot Anglers of North Texas was Founded in 2013 by Gunnery Sergeant Lew Duckwall, after he found peace and purpose within the great rivers.
With this partnership, our organizations become able to expand our programs benefits to more Veterans-both within and outside our own states, and to show our Veterans where this adventure can take them...to a new horizon, new adventure in another place. We will be taking some Veterans to Oklahoma this year, and in turn will be hosting some of Patriot Anglers' Veterans here in New Mexico.
Keep your eyes on your inboxes AWOL Family, much much more to come on this outstanding organization in a future blog.
AWOL ANGLER MONTHLY MEETUPS
In an effort to greatly expand our programs Veteran outreach, this year we are going to begin hosting "Monthly Meetups." These are going to be open invite events to Veterans of all angling abilities, "come one-come all", brand new beginners as well as Veterans with some fishing experience with us already. The broad idea behind this is to create more opportunities for Veterans to engage with fly fishing, the rivers, our organization and of course, each other.
Each scheduled meetup will be held on northern New Mexico waters such as the Rio Chama, Rio Grande, Jemez streams, Pecos, still-water lakes...and more. Each meetup AWOL Angler will arrange to have some guides at the event, as well as gear for the Veterans to fish with. Veterans who have some experience fishing with us are encouraged to come along and help mentor someone new to the game.
Time spent together is time better spent. Time spent together on the water is time best spent. These events are going to widely expand our programs opportunities for Veterans and help foster the community mindset that is important in mental health. We will most likely hold our first meetup this month (February) toward the end of the month. We will send out details as we arrange them. Hope to see you there!
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN (DRUMROLL).............
We simply could not be more excited to announce the launch of a brand new program here at AWOL Angler. AWOL in Conservation.
Each year, our nation's rivers, streams, and lakes dispense an ample supply of beautiful, unforgettable days with beautiful fish, and beautiful people to fish alongside. Each year they supply us with new stories, new memories, and new horizons. They are ours to find peace and respite within...and ours to care for, maintain, improve, and love back.
Conservation is an incredibly important part of any outdoor sport, and especially so in fly fishing the waters of New Mexico. Giving back to the resources that give us so much is important for the future of the habitat and the fish that grace them.
There is another very important dynamic here that needs to be addressed. The benefit the Veteran receives from this work, this giving back to the environment which supports them. It is in the intentional act of caring for something else.
Beginning this coming Spring, AWOL Angler will be partnering up with local U.S. Forest Service agencies as well as BLM Managers to coordinate river clean ups and other projects. We are also going to partner up with local New Mexico chapters of Trout Unlimited as they get projects with clean up, habitat improvement, fish introductions and much much more.
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
We are always TWO things here at AWOL Angler...Thankful...and Expanding.
Please join us in welcoming our two newest team members to the AWOL family.
SERGE LIBERIDIAN-VETERAN COORDINATOR
Our brother Serge has been quietly yet forcefully supporting the AWOL Angler mission literally since the inception of this idea.
Serge is an Air Force Veteran, and participant in our recent fly fishing school with Taos Fly Shop.
From a participant in our program, to working to make it happen for others. That is the spirit of AWOL Angler.
We are proud and thankful to bring on Serge as Veteran Coordinator.
SARAH DUNCAN-VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Folks, here is yet another INCREDIBLE individual who has been greatly supporting our mission behind the scenes for years now.
We are thankful to have Sarah coming on board as Volunteer Coordinator. In addition, Sarah also brings an incredible talent for crafts to the table. At our last two events, Sarah was kind enough to spend hours creating customized AWOL Angler logo Yeti cups, replete with the participants name.
In addition to becoming the new smiling face of the AWOL Volunteer side of the house, she will be creating custom shirts, cups, hats and much more for our Veterans to have at their events.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as always, myself and the staff here at AWOL Angler could not be more thankful for the love and support we are receiving from our communities. You good people are how this comes together, how we're are able to implement our mission in the Veteran spectrum. You...are how we are able to change lives. Thank you for following along, and I hope you'll join us for our biggest year to date.