In our very first Veteran / Keeper event, we took four of our Veteran / Keeper pairs to Crystal Beach, Texas for the Inaugural OATH Shark Fishing Trip sponsored by the wonderful folks at Baker Hughes. The purpose of the outing was not necessarily to catch fish, but to build upon and strengthen the bond that already exists between these Combat Veterans and their Keepers. Both sides of the pair serves a unique and distinct purpose: The Combat Veteran, by committing to this Keeper, has taken a solid step in saying that he or she fully and totally trusts their Keeper to be there for them when they need someone to listen, someone to question, someone to comfort. This is not always an easy thing for a Combat Veteran to do, to open up, to trust, to sometimes put themselves outside of their own comfort zone, but in establishing this Keeper bond, they are doing just that, and it works miracles. On the other side of that coin, you have the Keeper. This person, whether it be a spouse or a friend or a neighbor or a co-worker or a parent, has grasped and embraced that their purpose is to be that person that the Combat Veteran can reach out to in his or her time of need. Whether it is in the middle of the day or the middle of the night, they are always available for a phone call or a visit if that's what it takes to keep their Combat Veteran from becoming one of the 22. The bond and the relationship flourishes as time passes, and what we eventually see is a friendship and a trust that cannot be broken if it is strengthened and sharpened and honed to near perfection.....and that's what this weekend achieved.....although the sharks didn't cooperate as we had hoped, the ultimate goal of getting these Veteran / Keeper pairs out and engaged and involved was the success for which we were looking, and we could not be more proud !!! Thanks again to Baker Hughes for understanding, embracing and supporting our "Brother's Keeper" approach, and for sponsoring this weekend's event through their very generous donations. We're already looking forward to our next "Brother's Keeper" event, so stay tuned !!!
A very special thanks goes to several key parties. Again, thank to Baker Hughes for their unending support !!! We spent the weekend on the beach with Glen, Dan, Sergio and Mark and their fishing teams as they worked themselves ragged trying to get us hooked up with some sharks. These guys ran 10-12 lines at a time from 100 yards out to 1,000 yards out....they did a helluva job !!! We enjoyed some fantastic chow thanks to OATH supporter and Keeper Keith Price. On Friday, we dined on some awesome fajitas, and on Saturday we were treated to some authentic jambalaya. We did not go hungry, let's just say that !!! The fajitas were cooked on the brand spanking new OATH Grill that was built and donated by OATH supporter and Keeper Jerry Dale Burkett, and it is a thing of beauty !!! The photos and follow-up video are the amazing work of Kurt and Kaleigh White. This is not the first event they've captured for OATH, nor will it be the last. Thanks for y'alls hard work !!! This was an event that was supported by a collective group, and we owe you all a huge shout out !!! Can't wait to do it again next year !!!