Happiness in the Outdoors
By USMC Veteran Ryan Harshman
Do you hear that? It’s Mother Nature begging you to go outside and enjoy all her wonders. She has so many sights, smells, tastes, textures, and if you’re quiet enough you may even hear her soft whispers.
Help celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day by putting a hook in the water, a stand in a tree, or perhaps just a walk in a woods or park. Whether a beginner or a seasoned outdoorsman/woman there is much personal gain to be had. New to the outdoors? Find a friend to share your new hobby with or take your children. Already have a deep passion for the outdoors? Make a commitment to share your passion and knowledge of the outdoors with someone else.
Since 1976, National Hunting and Fishing Day have been sharing their passion for hunting, fishing and preserving the benefits that nature provides. Athletes, musicians, and CEOs have been contributing to and promoting the outdoors not for a brand but for the benefits of our souls.
Mother Nature is kind to us. She offers us her flowing brooks and streams, her trees and plants of an infinite variety, and her animal species that are unique to your neck of the woods. She also challenges us — with steep hills to conquer, terrain that is not for the weary, or the bird that won’t sit still for a picture.
We don’t always harvest an animal during a hunt or catch a fish every time we toss a hook in the water. That’s why being a sportsman/woman is so special. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be hunting and fishing, but rather killing and catching.
I’ve taken my love for the outdoors and made a career out of it. After being medically retired from the Marine Corps, I found myself not at a crossroad but rather a dead end. I had a passion without a purpose. The sense of accomplishment had escaped me, and I needed a change quickly.
Upon returning to Eastern North Carolina from a Colorado elk hunt with a Marine brother, we stopped by a local outdoor outfitter and I inquired about a position there as a bow technician. I suppose they saw my eagerness to work and my passion for the outdoors and hired me two days later. It’s been a year now since I started working at Eastern Outfitters, and every day has brought a rewarding sensation not just for me but for my family as well.
Honestly, it’s not a job; it’s a hobby I get paid for. I get to share my outdoor experiences with both children and my elders. Even better? I get to hear theirs.
I encourage you to take a chance on nature, take a chance on yourselves. You may just be surprised as to what you really discover.
This year’s Honorary Chair for National Hunting and Fish Day is Richard Childress, who has been a longtime supporter of Hope For The Warriors. Sharing passions similar to veterans in not just outdoor sports, but in motor sports, too, Mr. Childress is an avid supporter of our nation’s military. Lending assistance through Richard Childress Racing to spend time with service members through Hope For The Warriors’ Drive For Hope program, or hosting fundraisers at Childress Vineyards, Mr. Childress is always been at the front of the line to support our service members, veterans and military families.
Since 2010, Hope For The Warriors has been providing respite care opportunities to service members, veterans and military families including adaptive recreational opportunities, on their road to recovery. To learn more about our programs and to get involved, visit Outdoor Adventures.