Freedom Defender Outdoors
Ben Cole 01.21.19
‘Being an outdoorsman, hunter or anything else associated with the outdoors is generally carried out within the boundaries of the United States. This land we call home wasn’t given and being free came with a price tag. A price tag that most wouldn’t even consider due to the fact that one might not arrive home safely. Freedom Defender Outdoors is an organization founded by actively serving members of the military who provide hunting and fishing trips for service men and women of every branch. Freedom is something we often times take for granted or have gotten to where it’s just a way of life. In fact, freedom was obtained through soldiers willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect this land. Many didn’t make it home due to their commitment, thus why I am forever greatful for their sacrifice.
Upon meeting Jarred Cartwright at a benifit archery tournament, I noticed something about him within the short amount of time we spent talking. He is a Godly man with a heart full of compassion as well as humbleness that has spilled into this calling, which is Freedom Defender Outdoors.
A few weeks later Jarred needed some help with an event in South AR, which was hosted by the Arkansas Game and Fish on some land that had previously been used strictly for youth hunts. After spending the weekend with these fine soldiers I deeply realized what it actually means to have a willingness to give up everything for this great land we live in. Granted I learned of how freedom was won and how it has been kept since the Revolutionary war in school but this was a whole new perspective.
As the hunt began everyone departed to their drawn locations in hopes of harvesting mature bucks. With the first afternoon of hunting coming to an end movement was noticed along the back side of the field Trent and I were hunting. What stepped out was a mature buck sporting an impressive rack that Trent delivered a perfect shot on. After the shot rang out others followed and we hoped everyone had bagged a deer as well. With light at a minimal we made the drive back to the scale house, sporting the rack above the bed, to see how everyone else had done. Surprisingly enough there were deer ready to clean everywhere, which is a direct result of the outstanding conservation program the Arkansas Game and Fish has implimented. This was by far the most successful deer hunt I’ve ever been apart of but furthermore it was humbling.
As a civilian I sometimes don’t see or hear what our brave soldiers are doing or where they are but I know that within a moments notice they are ready to make a stand against anyone that threatens our country. They endure emeense hardships while deployed But, from what I understand, can have a hard time adjusting to life back in the States. Adjusting back to life in the states is just one way Freedom Defender Outdoors helps our outstanding veterans. Our Armed forces real world hero’s and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone who serves and has served because with out your sacrifice we wouldn’t have what we do.
Jarred Cartwright, Freedom Defender Outdoors, Arkansas Game and Fish, Service Men and Women, and everyone who helped make this event possible has a special place in my heart for their service as well as hospitality.