On May 17, 2014, Armed Forces Day, I had the...

On May 17, 2014, Armed Forces Day, I had the privilege to attend the Inaugural Sportsmen For Warriors Fundraiser. Armed Forces Day was established by President Harry S. Truman as a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. The fundraising event was a gathering to honor and help the warriors, patriots, and heroes who have sacrificed so much for America’s freedoms.

The fundraiser featured Marcus Luttrell, author of Lone Survivor. Luttrell, a former Navy SEAL, is the only survivor of Operation Redwing. Operation Redwing was a combined/joint military operation during the War in Afghanistan, which cost the life of Luttrell’s three SEAL squadmates and 16 other SEALs and Army Special Ops soldiers. Luttrell delivered a powerful speech about his experiences that demonstrated the courage, sacrifice, honor, and patriotism that our military members show everyday.

From left to right: Darrell & Holly Carver, Carl Malone, Jason & Kirstyn Hairston, Marcus Luttrell

It was an amazing opportunity to attend this year’s fundraiser and hear these men speak. For the past ten years, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW) has honored our veterans with over 50 different dream hunting, fishing, or family trips as their way of truly “thanking them” for serving our country and providing our freedoms.

Jason & Kirstyn Hairston with Marcus Luttrell

“After attending the Full Curl Meeting, a private VIP meeting with VP Cheney, where two veterans were awarde their dream Arctic Red trophy Caribou hunt, sponsored by KUIU, Tom Welch, CEO of Maerik, a 286 station gas/Convenience store approached SFW leaders about doing something big,” says Don Peay, Founder of Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife. “So, Sportsmen for Warriors was formalized, and the May 17 event with Marcus Lutrell, Governor Herbert, Us Congressman Chris Stewart, Jason Chaffetz, and many other business and community leaders was organized. 3 veterans, who have been past recipients of trips, love and friendship, shared their jape art felt personal experiences and gratitude, some stating it saved their lives, marriages, and families!”

Others in attendance:

  • Governor Gary Herbert (UT)
  • Rep Jason Chaffetz (UT)
  • Rep Ted Stewart (UT)
  • NBA All-Star Karl Malone
  • Lt. Col Sparky Peterson (helped rescue Marcus Luttrell)

There are estimated to be over 600 people who were in attendance, which included veterans, sponsors, and general public donors who were interested in the program and speakers.

The money raised at this event, over $150,000 in total, went to help provide hunting and fishing trips to returning soldiers as they cope with the adjustments and reclamation to civilian life. In addition, SFW aims to help veterans and families of veterans with job placement, and career advancement using the skills they gained while serving our country. To date, the program has helped soldiers with various hunting and fishing excursions in Utah, and the Intermountain West.

Sportsmen for Warriors is a nonprofit organization created to acknowledge and honor the tremendous sacrifices made by our “Warriors” and their families while serving our country in combat or as first responders in times of domestic trials. This is being accomplished by providing renowned recreational activities that improve an overall quality of life and in helping to establish jobs and meaningful, post service careers.

For more information please visit www.sportsmenforwarriors.org.

This article has 10 comment(s)

  1. Shane Close

    This is pretty awesome! Way to go Kuiu/Jason!

  2. Bryan Vollmer

    Jason: as a Marine and a huge fan of Kuiu; thank you for your commitment to the armed forces and great gear!
    Semper Fidelis.

    • Jason Hairston

      I am very Proud to support our troops. We will be doing more in the future.


  3. Dewayne Edwards

    I am currently deployed, to Afghanistan, with the U.S. Army. I think that I can speak for my fellow soldiers by saying the we really appreciate being recognized for what we do. Something as simple as a greeting card from a school can brighten our day. Now, hopefully I’ll be back in time to get on a big bull elk during Idaho’s archery season. Thanks again from a grateful soldier.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Dewayne for your service! If there is ever anything we can do for you please let me know.


  4. Lt Col Jason Eitutis

    I am currently active duty military going on 18 years. Thanks for your support Jason.

    • Jason Hairston

      You are more than welcome! I am excited to support our hero’s. We all need to do more for you guys.


  5. Max Close

    Having spent a tour in Vietnam I appreciate the sacrifices what our military men and women have made and make for all of us. They deserve our support and recognition in any way possible. Thanks for your efforts in their behalf.

    • Jason Hairston

      Proud to do it Max!

  6. Eric

    As a Vet and current LEO I tip my hat to Kuiu for their participation in this program. Outstanding Sirs!