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