Operation Outdoor Freedom brings veterans together in Arcadia

Published: Updated:
In this Thursday, May 18, 2017 photo, Hiroshi Miyamura, center, watches as Ken Reige, left, helps Jamie Popwell and Brantley Cargill of Flags for Vets raise a flag on a new flagpole at Miyamura’s home in Gallup, N.M. (Cable Hoover/Gallup Independent via AP)

Gathered around a campfire at the Peace River State Park, dozens celebrated the opening of the second wounded veteran’s camp in the state.

It’s part of Operation Outdoor Freedom, an initiative in Arcadia which brings veterans together.

“It’s nice to have a place like this for veterans to hang out, to use the property for hunting and it’s a nice, relaxing, trouble-free weekend for them,” said Ken Katter.

Katter volunteers with Operation Outdoor Freedom and dedicated the fire pit in honor of his father, who spent many nights dreaming of a warm fire while fighting during World War II.

They couldn’t have that warm fire then–but there’s one here now.

Hundreds of acres of land will now be home to veterans looking to rehab and enjoy outdoor activities at no cost. State Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam says this is just another part of the state’s permanent commitment to veterans.

“This is the least we can do to give them the opportunity of fellowship, camaraderie and in some cases even therapy around the camp fire or in these woods with fellow veterans who have a shared set of experiences,” Putnam said.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and the Florida Forest Service provide unique hunting experiences for our nation’s heroes. Veterans can register for the free trips online.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.