SISTERS, Ore. - (Update: Comments from founder, veteran)
Warfighter Outfitters, a Sisters-based veteran outreach program, has received some national recognition for its work in Central Oregon.
Brett Miller, founder of Warfighter Outfitters, first came up with the idea in 2005, after he was wounded by a roadside bomb blast while serving in the National Guard in Iraq, landing him in the hospital for three years of recovery.
Warfighter Outfitters is a program that gives veterans the opportunity to participate in trips across the country.
“When you are wounded in combat, you are starting over," Miller said. "You’re trying to find that new normal, your second life, and we’re basically just giving these guys a chance to figure out a new way to do it.”
From fishing to hunting to service trips in partnership with the National Parks Service, Miller has found that the journeys are just a tool to help vets recover.
Gary Conner is one of those vets who benefited from the program, now he is a part of the board for Warfighter Outfitters.
“It totally changed my outcome, I realized that I wasn’t the only one out there," Conner said. "I realized they’re are more of us out there, and it created a bond.”
The Wounded Warrior Project took notice of what Warfighter Outfitters has been doing and honored it with the George C. Lang Award for Courage after it served more than 2,000 veterans last year.
Craig Rullman is Vice President of the Warfighter Outfitters and believes that Miler is the perfect person to be taking on this type of work, and is more than worthy of the award that was given to the group by the Wounded Warrior Project.
“You know, the Wounded Warrior Project logo is the wounded warrior rising up to help carry others," Rullman said. "There's no one on Earth that represents that better then Brett Miller.”
The trips that the organization takes the veterans on are a gateway to healing for those who participate in them.
Miller said he believes the support groups that have been formed through Warfighter Outfitters are lifelong bonds that have helped to save lives.
You can find more information on the Warfighter Outfitters organization here.