My name is Will Thompson. I am a combat wounded, medically retired U.S. Army veteran. I am also a chapter commander and Dept of Ohio jr. vice commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
I was invited to go fishing and asked to invite other combat wounded with Walleyes for Wounded Heroes. The event was AMAZING! The cathartic benefits of the event are beyond reproach. The ability for combat veterans to get together to bond and share In camaraderie without feeling judged by others is priceless. The Walleyes for Wounded Heroes goes above and beyond in making the veterans feel welcomed and respected. The atmosphere of the entire event is very relaxed and settling that is very comfortable for me which is very comforting since I have PTSD, TBI and high anxiety. All this was even before we went out fishing! The days we were out on Lake Erie were even better. The accommodations made for physical and medical conditions is great as every effort is given to make sure everyone can participate.
When I was there among my fellow veterans I felt more relaxed and slept better than I have in a long time. My friends and fellow patriots that served in Vietnam were given the welcome home that they never received when they came home and for me to witness the emotions flooding them was overwhelming.
I know that the fishing trip is one the talked about excessively among the veteran community and so many more want to be able to participate as well as the others wanting to return to recapture the feeling again and share it with even more friends.
I can not thank Joe, Tina, and the Walleyes for Wounded Heroes enough because it greatly appreciated what they do.
Yours in service,
Will Thompson (SGT)(USA)(RET)
Jr. Vice Commander
Dept. of Ohio
Military Order of the Purple Heart
Dear Walleyes for Wounded Heroes,
I wanted to take a moment to extend my upmost gratitude. I can’t express enough how appreciative I am for the opportunities that you all have provided for me. I attended the June event in Port Clinton with Skills for life, since then I was blessed with the chance to return to more events.These past few trips have given me life long memories that I will forever cherish. I guess I never realized how therapeutic it can be, to take a break from the daily grind and struggles from life and spend time with other like minded veterans. The instant camaraderie took me back to my days in the marines. For the first time in a long time I felt whole again. It was nice to share stories with veterans from different wars, I have learned that even though everyone’s experience and injuries may be different, we are share the same struggles. A genuine yearn to get out in nature and spend time around other veterans, have some laughs, heal the soul and make a few new life long friends. You guys facilitated that opportunity better than I could have ever imaged. I heard a veteran make a comment that stuck hard with me. He said “this stuff is better for me than any PTSD medicine the hospital has ever prescribed me”. I thought that was pretty powerful, and after pondering on it for a while, I come to realize he was right. I thought back on the past few trips and it registered to me that my very own mental health was exceptionally better after these trips. It was like taking in a breath of fresh air and just kinda letting it all go. There is something to be said for the fulfilling power of being in nature and resetting the soul. Which is why I can’t thank you all enough. If it wasn’t for you all, I wouldn’t be able to have had these experiences and opportunities. I am deeply grateful and appreciative.
Respectfully, Luke Sanford
Cpl USMC (Ret)
"There are only two kinds of people who understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
Gen William Thornson US Army