Ft. Riley Veteran Surprised With Alaska Bear Hunting Trip
February, 27 2015
When Army Sergeant Bradley Toman arrived at Frontier Justice last Saturday, February 21, he thought he was just there to spend the day on the range with members of his leadership and other Veterans. Little did he know that he was in for a special treat.
With an on-looking crowd, Veteran Outdoors and Frontier Justice surprised unsuspecting Toman with a trip of a lifetime to hunt bear in Alaska – a trip that he had talked about taking with his father for years. Unfortunately, his father passed away before they could take the trip together.
“This is incredible. I can’t believe it,” Toman said with a broad smile. “My dad had always said we would go hunt bear together. Even though he’s no longer here, I know he’ll be there in spirit.”
Toman is a decorated Army Veteran who has served since 1998 when he enlisted as a carpenter and mason. He was stationed in Washington D.C. during the attacks on the Pentagon in 2001 and has since been deployed twice to the Middle East with the task of finding and disarming IEDs. He is now back in the United States and based at Fort Riley, Kan.
Sgt. Toman was nominated to receive a trip with Veteran Outdoors by Sergeant Major Brad Kelley at Fort Riley, Kan. because of his exemplary dedication to serving his nation. When asked why Toman deserves this trip, Kelley’s response was unquestionable.
“I can’t think of a soldier who deserves recognition more than Sgt. Toman,” Kelley said. “He is a natural leader whose soldiers look up to him because of his loyalty to them and each mission in front of them.”
The trip, which is made possible by Veteran Outdoors, is sponsored by Frontier Justice, a new shooting range in Lee’s Summit, Mo, as part of its grand opening celebration. The company’s mission includes giving back to the community and helping honor our military heroes by supporting their ongoing needs. The owners, Michael and Bren Brown, believe that it is important to support those who protect our freedoms.
“Without the men and women who serve in our military, we wouldn’t be here,” said Bren Brown, president and co-owner of Frontier Justice. “We need to let them know that we are here for them when they get back from serving overseas, and Veteran Outdoors does an incredible job of helping wounded Veterans overcome the struggles they face when returning home.”
Veteran Outdoors is a volunteer-run, non-profit that honors wounded Veterans for their service and sacrifice with dream adventures. The nature of outdoor activities – whether it be hunting, fishing or another activity – can be therapeutic to anyone suffering physical or mental injuries.
“While we sit at our computers and complain about email speeds and phones ringing, these guys and gals were in harm’s way trying to keep their heads from ringing,” said Cody Hirt, co-founder of Veteran Outdoors. “It might seem like a big deal to some the adventures we try to provide, but that pales in comparison to the life and liberty they have provided us. Like our motto states we are simply ‘Giving Back to Those that Gave’.”
To date, Veteran Outdoors has taken 1,139 Veterans out on adventures. Last year alone, they took 189 Veterans on adventures of all kinds spending 376 combined days in the field. The volunteers have taken double-leg amputees to places like Wyoming for elk, Alaska for bear, spear fishing off Coronado in California. Single-leg amputees to northern British Columbia to shoot mountain goat, as well as the safari plains of Texas for hard-to-acquire exotics. From white tail, mule deer, wild sheep and antelope to bass, salmon and tuna, Veteran Outdoors makes the dream adventures come true.
ABOUT VETERAN OUTDOORS
Veteran Outdoors’ mission is to honor our country’s wounded Veterans’ patriotism and their sacrifices by providing quality hunting, fishing and outdoor related activities. Veteran Outdoors’ goal is to raise public awareness about the therapeutic effects that being in the outdoors actually has on the mental and physical disabilities of our country’s wounded men and women. The organization also provides a platform for Veterans to tell their own stories in their own words.