“A guy walks into a bar, orders a drink…and finds HOPE.” ​

As luck would have it, Air Force veteran Anthony Cubbage bumped into HOPE’s Senior Staff Accountant, Katie Watts, at a local pub in October 2019. He and his wife, a Security Forces Airman, had just moved to her new duty station in Quantico, VA. Medically retired from the Air Force in 2016, Anthony felt lost in his transition and new community. ​

Anthony served 14 years as a nuclear weapons specialist, a stressful job that left him burned out, causing feelings of hopelessness and a plan to end his life. ​

Instead of following this plan, he sought help and checked into inpatient therapy. Returning to duty after 28 days, Anthony, with the help of his Squadron Commander, made the tough decision to leave his Air Force career behind to focus on his healing. ​

After retiring, Anthony was able to reconnect with something that always brought him peace and happiness – the great outdoors. Inspired by his volunteer work with The Fallen Outdoors, Anthony made plans to start his own fishing charter but needed a Captain’s License before he could kickstart his business. After mulling over the information Katie shared with him a few months prior, Anthony finally reached out and applied for HOPE services. HOPE staff worked with Anthony one-on-one and found a way to help – with a business grant that paid for his USCG master captain’s license training. ​

Today, his business, Atomic Fishing Charters, provides veterans with outdoor fishing experiences to help them heal and connect.​