By Chris Vincent
October 8-12, 2019
Freedom Ranch For Heroes
Wise River, Montana
It was my honor to be the trip leader for 9 amazing veterans on the last trip of the year to the Freedom Ranch For Heroes in Wise River, Montana last week. This beautiful ranch sits in one of the most scenic valleys in all of Montana next to the Big Hole River. 160 disabled veterans are welcomed here every year for a week of fly fishing, camaraderie, and most importantly healing. This little valley offers an incredibly powerful healing atmosphere with all its beauty, and caring people who call it home, whatever stress one may have is easily lost here.
Our week was full of adventure, not only did it snow – 10inches on Tuesday evening – but it also dropped down to a -2° on Wednesday evening which made for a slush an ice filled river on Thursday. This made for some really difficult fishing conditions but my group from south Texas handled it well and my hat goes off to each an everyone of them. There was even a few snow angels made in the freshly fallen snow. They all certainly knew how to make the best out of any situation that came their way.
One of the greatest takeaways for me was how much this tiny town in this little valley fully embraces our veterans and this ranch, there is so much love, gratitude and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make this a trip of a lifetime for our participants it’s just absolutely incredible. One can honestly say that you arrive in Wise River as strangers but you definitely leave as family.