Patriot Anglers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to providing outdoor recreation for our military and Veteran families through fishing. The Patriot Anglers is comprised of Veterans, military family members, and patriots who possess a unique understanding of the toll that military service can take on a family, and being from Colorado, we also understand the value of time spent outdoors.
We believe in the healing power of time spent in nature, and that reconnecting with your environment can also allow you to reconnect with those around you. We take Military Service Members, Veterans, and their families on fishing expeditions throughout Colorado. We fish year round to include boating, ice fishing, and river fishing. We provide all necessary equipment as well as skills needed to become successful fisherman. We also educate our participants on the environment/ecosystems which we fish.
All of the members of our organization have a passion for working with members of the military and their families. We have all experienced, firsthand, the difficulties facing those who choose the military life, but we firmly believe that a simple activity, such as fishing, can bring some simplicity back into your life.
We believe that helping your spouse catch a fish or bait their line, can reopen the lines of communication. We believe that seeing the joy on your child’s face as they catch their first fish, can reignite your own sense of wonder. We believe that when we return to nature, without all of the distractions of our everyday lives, we can then return to each other as well.
Our slogan has multiple meanings for the Patriot Anglers. First that the Patriot Anglers fish with the honorable, U.S. Military Service Members and Veterans. Second, we are an honorable organization, supporting and giving back to our community of veterans and their families. Finally, that the Patriot Anglers will be managed and operated with the same values and virtues that are instilled in the U.S. Military.
Our history began in Iraq where Co-founders James Anderson and Louis Chapman were deployed with the U.S. Army. James in Operation Desert Storm, and Louis in Operation Iraqi Freedom, became Veterans and returned home like the millions of other veterans over the last several decades.
Meeting in the Colorado Army National Guard and deploying to Haiti together, James and Louis became friends. After returning home, they went on a weekend long fishing trip in September of 2012, to Eleven Mile State Park where conversation turned into an idea. One month later, in October 2012, the Patriot Anglers was founded, with incorporation from the State of Colorado taking place in January 2013.
To make the concept work, Louis went to his friends and fellow Iraq War Veterans. The Patriot Anglers initial staff was recruited and comprised of the people who had experienced firsthand what the outdoors and fishing had done to help with post deployment issues. After returning from war, a tight group of Veterans had slowly drifted apart for various reasons. Years later, Louis had rediscovered the outdoors through his father. After realizing that fishing was making a positive difference in his life, he contacted his old battle buddies and one by one got them out ice fishing in the mountains. They reconnected, and continued their adventures outside the military. Now this tight group of Veterans, along with their families, have banded together make up the Patriot Anglers.
Our next steps are to continue to grow to better support the needs of Colorado’s large Veteran community. We are always looking for resources and fellow patriots and Veterans to assist us in completing our mission.