Warrior Outdoors began, and is based in Jefferson, Georgia. The Missouri Chapter is headquartered in Cameron.
Young men and women in the military often encounter very stressful situations. While they are trained very well for combat, they are mostly unprepared for the emotional situations they will encounter, and the type of duties they are sometimes asked to perform. They often return home with psychological issues for which they are not prepared to cope.
The Mission of Warrior Outdoors is “using the outdoors as a means to heal” the emotional scars in these men and women. The organization also serves First Responders dealing with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The program is tailored to the individual and their particular needs.
It has been found that getting people with the above conditions into the outdoors has therapeutic value. The program can involve hunting and/or fishing, Motocross, car racing, float trips, just about any outdoor activities which appeals to the individual. There is no charge for the participating veteran. All costs such as transportation, needed gear, food, tickets, and any lodging is paid for by the organization.
The Missouri Chapter of Warrior Outdoors follows the same guidelines and principles as the National Chapter. They provide outdoor activities for veterans. Funds are raised through a variety of activities, including the annual Warrior Fest, comedy presentations, and booths asking for donations from the public.
The Missouri Chapter works to heal veterans in our general area, providing programs similar to that of the national organization. They receive no government or other funding for their program. All funds are raised through their own efforts.
Justin Snodgrass of the Missouri Chapter feels that PTS has a wide spectrum of types, ranging from the “adrenaline junkie” on one end, to the “stoner” personality on the other (someone content to stay indoors and deal with problems alone. He feels most, however, are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
All members of the Warrior Outdoors team receives great satisfaction in being able to assist veterans. As veterans themselves, they benefit personally from the programs in helping them deal with their own PTS problems. It is a mutually therapeutic program.
Warriors Outdoors is gratified that they have been able to help area veterans. Justin, along with on-air pal Ritchie King, do a weekly podcast on Tuesday evenings between 5 and 7 p.m. They have many faithful listeners, not only from Missouri, but other states and one in Australia. On one particular show a veteran called in and was desperate for help. They immediately forgot their scheduled program to focus on him, and their listeners (who can communicate online) immediately volunteered their assistance “in any way they can”. It was a touching and profound moment.
The podcast touches on a number of topics from the recent Chiefs Super Bowl victory, to cooking, and general silliness in order to provide a little comic relief from the stresses of life.
They have taken veterans on the Pony Express Trail Ride, shooting events, fishing outings at lakes and a river, a Monster Truck Jam in Oklahoma City, and a variety of other outings.
A major fundraiser is what they call “Warrior Fest”. This year’s even will be sponsored by and held at Misfits Bar & Grill in Blue Springs, MO, on November 6th and 7th. The 2-day event will feature 10 different bands, and 9 Missouri comedians. It will be a weekend of fun and laughs. Last year’s Warrior Fest was held at this location and was a huge success.
Local chapter member Justin Snodgrass works as emcee at the events, while his sidekick Ritchie King will be one of the comedy acts, and is well-known for his imitations of various celebrities and cartoon characters.
Ritchie also works at setting up comedy events as fundraisers, and have had successful shows at many towns in Northwest Missouri. There will be a show in Jamesport on April 25th, and one Clarinda, Iowa on May 12th. Please visit their website for a schedule of events and outings.
Providing therapeutic entertainment for veterans takes funds. They rely on donations from the public and their various events. Visit Warrior Outdoors to learn how you can contribute. You may reach Justin Snodgrass at 816-724-3063, or email Ritchie King at firstname.lastname@example.org