Daniel Reavis: United States Navy Veteran
Daniel Reavis, currently on the Maintenance Team of the Wilkesboro Facility served in the United States Navy for 10 years. He was stationed in Jacksonville, FL and Whidbey Island, WA and was deployed on three separate occasions, twice to Japan and then to Central America. While in service, Daniel served as an Aviation Structural Mechanic Petty Officer First Class Aviation Warfare Specialist, AM1(AW). Daniel is a Wilkes County native with family and friends here, but says that he does “miss the brotherhood and camaraderie” of the military. To help fill that void and to help other veterans, Daniel is involved in The Fallen Outdoors organization which helps veterans and active duty military get outdoors and provides recreational therapy.
Read more of Daniel’s involvement with Fallen Outdoors that was published in the Wilkes Living Magazine. (The following story was written by Jason Schneider and is published here with permission from Wilkes Living Magazine)
The Therapy of Friendship
By: Jason Schneider
“Living our dreams because they gave up theirs.”
That’s the mission statement of The Fallen Outdoors, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that provides hunting and fishing-related trips for veterans and active duty military.
Friends for Life
North Carolina is part of the organization’s East Coast region. As of October 5, 2017, 398 veterans had participated in a total of 80 trips in the state, says Daniel Reavis.
“Our mission is to take veterans and active duty military into the outdoors and provide recreational therapy,” Reavis says. “If you get a group of veterans together who have never met each other before, within an hour they’re best friends. Sometimes it doesn’t even take that long. You network with everybody, make new friends – that’s what we’re about.”
Reavis adds that everyone in The Fallen Outdoors – from its founder Eric Bakken, to those on the local level – is a volunteer. “I work a full-time job, I’ve got a family – two small kids – and do this in my spare time,” he said.
Donations are what make the trips for veterans possible, often from businesses that donate a day trip. There are various fundraisers throughout the year, including selling raffle tickets for various items, from rifles to coolers to custom fishing rods. Reavis says he is planning a golf tournament in Wilkes County for next year, and possibly one or two bass tournaments.
A Chance for Everyone
Available trips are posted on the organization’s website and Facebook page (there are two pages, one for veterans and active duty military, another for everyone) and veterans comment on them. From those who commented, the participants are chosen randomly to make it fair for everyone.
Reavis is also helping build a database of email addresses and phone numbers of those who may not have access to social media. “In the western end of the state, there’s a large veteran presence, many of them older, and we’re trying to reach out to those people,” he says.
In the end, The Fallen Outdoors is about letting those who served (and are serving) in the military know they’re not alone. “They volunteered to do something to serve their country,” says Reavis. “Organizations like this give people the opportunity to give back to them.”
How You Can Help:
If you’re interested in donating money, land for hunting or fishing, or other resources, contact Daniel Reavis at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Fallen Outdoors visit, https://thefallenoutdoors.com/.
This story was published here with permission from Wilkes Living Magazine.