Telos is the lead sponsor of the Trout Unlimited (TU) Veterans’ Service Program. Last week, Telos was proud to participate in TU’s first annual fundraising dinner for this worthy program. Trout Unlimited has 400 chapters and 140,000 members across the country. Many of TU’s experienced fishermen serve as teachers and want to give back to our wounded veterans who sacrificed for our country. As TU describes it, “fishing can transport an angler from the problems and worries of daily life. For veterans, the sport can be therapeutic and restorative.”
At the event, we heard from some distinguished Trout Unlimited supporters. Admiral Dennis Blair (Ret.) and Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England described how fishing really provides rich therapy to those whom engage in it.
But, it was Sgt. Robert Bartlett (Ret.) who really underscored what this program means to our wounded warriors. On May 3rd 2005, Bartlett’s humvee was struck by a roadside bomb. The shrapnel tore off the left side of his face. Since then, Bartlett has endured over 40 surgeries and has twice flat-lined. As he lay in bed, he would watch fishing shows on TV and hope that one day he might go fishing again and get out on the water.
As one of the other speakers from the evening mentioned, when you stand in a river and feel the water rush around you, you get this sense of healing. And the river may not take away the physical scars, but it can definitely start the mental and spiritual healing.
I am so honored and proud that Telos is supporting a program like Trout Unlimited, which makes a difference to those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms, someone like Sgt. Bartlett.
For more about Trout Unlimited, please go to www.tu.org.