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.