Hunt for Purpose: WQW’s Newest Program - Warriors & Quiet Waters
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Hunt for Purpose: WQW’s Newest Program

Silence. Perseverance. Peace. Not generally the words that come to mind when one thinks about hunting. That is exactly what came to mind for WQW’s CEO, Brian Gilman, Colonel, USMC, (Ret.) as he contemplated the WQW Board’s direction to increase our impact. Research demonstrates that having a sense of purpose in life is critical to well-being, yet many veterans struggle to find purpose in their lives following military service. Without it, they languish. Gilman immediately recognized the opportunity to guide post-9/11 combat veterans to a sense of clarity on their potential and purpose following military service. He recognized the opportunity to give all our participants the essential knowledge and tools they need to thrive. Based on his own experience of bow hunting becoming a source of drive and inspiration to pursue the best version of himself, a year-long effort was born to develop our newest program model: Hunt for Purpose.

Hunt for Purpose is designed to guide post-9/11 combat veterans to a greater sense of clarity around their identity, values, potential, and purpose through archery elk hunting.  Elk hunting is not the objective of the program; rather it is the mechanism WQW will use to help our participants achieve clarity of what they believe, who they are, what they can do, and what gives their life meaning. We’ll do this by interweaving a guided-discovery process around the areas of identity, values, potential, and purpose with the process of preparing for and conducting a week-long archery elk hunt.

While Hunt for Purpose is a departure from our core therapeutic recreational activity, fly fishing, it keeps faith with who we are: a veteran services organization that enables post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones find peace, meaning, and purpose through meaningful recreational activities in nature. Rest assured, fly fishing will remain the core recreational activity we pursue at WQW. Hunt for Purpose simply provides us with an additional tool we can use to enable post-9/11 veterans to thrive.

Learn More About Hunt for Purpose

								 Sean Gifford

Bow hunting was a passion of mine for years until anxiety and depression took a toll on my mental and physical health. This year, my daughter developed her own passion for bow hunting. I took her out a few times, but the effort was half-hearted on my part. After the season, I promised myself that I would work on my fitness and be there for my daughter to help her grow her passion for the sport.



U.S. Army

This article was originally published in WQW's 2022 Spring Newsletter. Didn't receive a newsletter and want to be on our mailing list? Let us know!