When Sgt. 1st Class Dan Brown, a U.S. Army infantryman with 19 years in the service, lost several of his “battle buddies” to suicide, and saw others struggling to get helpful care through Veterans Affairs as they tried to cope with stress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, he began to brainstorm about what solutions he might bring to this problem.
From this desire to help fellow soldiers, Home Front Fishing was born.
“After participating in the local Fishing for Freedom tournament and hearing about other angling groups like the Hookset Brothers. I wanted to bring something to the Fort Hood area that was similar. I wanted to go a little further and offer help for those that needed it while enjoying the great sport of fishing,” Brown said.
According to Brown, “Home Front Fishing is an organization that helps veterans, active-duty service members and their immediate family members deal with stress and anxiety related issues through fishing.”
Home Front Fishing offers a variety of options to soldiers and veterans. At the most basic level, a soldier or veteran may simply request a fishing trip through Home Front Fishing as a way to avoid self-isolation and to enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors while engaging in fishing for bass, which allows the angler to focus on other than his or her struggles.
With a soldier’s or veteran’s permission, an on-board counselor is also willing to attend the fishing trip with the soldier/veteran and the boat owner (called a boat captain). Additionally, counselors are also willing to meet with a soldier/veteran before a fishing trip takes place if the need is more urgent.
Since he is not a counselor, Brown sought out the help of a local counseling agency to come along side Home Front Fishing and offer this valuable service. Counseling Solutions based in Killeen stepped up to fill this gap.
When asked about the common issues those contacting Home Front Fishing are typically dealing with, Brown said they range from issues as difficult as post-traumatic stress disorder, to those just having a tough week after life has dealt them an unexpected blow.
Home Front Fishing’s services are both confidential and free. Brown organized Home Front Fishing as a bona fide nonprofit organization, thus, the services they provide are funded through fundraising, donations and sponsors.
A number of well-known players in the fishing industry have come alongside Brown, supporting him in his efforts to help soldiers, among them 10th Mountain Apparel, Black Rifle Coffee, Jimmy Jones Locker, GLO-Pro Lures, Rock-n- Reel Custom Lures, Vicious Fishing, Duckett Fishing and Liquid Mayhem.
Said Brown; “We want to let veterans and their families know that there is someone that has been there and that is still willing to help.
“Outside of serving with my fellow service members in combat I can think of no greater honor then to be able to help them out here at home.”
Thus far, the fledgling operation has served nine adults and one youth.
If you, or someone you know, might stand to benefit from the services Home Front Fishing provides, Brown and his organization stand ready to help.
Contact Home Front Fishing at 254-298-9894.