Soul River Inc. is proud to collaborate and engage with The VET Voice Foundation during our up and coming outings, along with LOOP and US Fish & Wildlife, to connect inner-city youth and veterans in a mentor environment, learning the art of fly fishing, conservation building community development out on the river in nature. When a soldier can connect with youth in the natural world and learn and share side by side in an outdoor classroom “Iron sharpens Iron” opening up new possibilities for both worlds to learn, rebuild new ambassadors of our communities and our natural world.
Vet Voice Foundation’s mission is to help veterans continue to serve their country by speaking out on vital, national issues. Among these issues is ensuring that war is a last resort – never a first option. Vet Voice Foundation has also pioneered the movement towards clean, renewable energy as a national security issue, and continues to make the case that investment in renewable energy means less money flowing into the hands of those who would do us harm.
The face of the military and the American veteran is changing. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown a new kind of warfare, with special needs facing the modern Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, Guardsman, and Reservist. Additionally, a flood of 21st Century troops are coming home to face the same struggles all Americans are facing today – from the tough economy, to health insurance issues, to job loss.
Vet Voice Foundation helps these veterans by giving them a voice to speak out on issues of concern to 21st Century veterans via letters to the editor, media appearances, and speaking at civic and community events, stand with their fellow brother and sisters in a progressive community to help build a larger progressive infrastructure in their communities, become leaders in their communities both in civic and social organizations, engage in direct and grassroots lobbying on issues and legislation of concern to the community, and register them to turn out to vote.
We are honored to be working with Vet Voice Foundation on future projects and encourage all our friends and followers to support this righteous and important foundation.
Michael Davidchik. Chad Brown and Patrick Symmes of Outside Magazine
The year of 2015 kicked off with a day on the water with my “river family” chasing winter steelhead. Although the morning weather was typical to Oregon winters; brisk and damp, it was also uniquely warm being graced with the presence of Patrick Symmes from Outside Magazine. He accompanied us on the water to capture the Soul River story from the people who have helped it grow, my river family, the heartbeat of Soul River. Steelhead weighed heavily on the mind but was pleasantly balanced with the warm camaraderie of our group of friends. Patrick was able to soak in the unique lingo, mentality, and friendship found in the pacific northwest’s distinct steelhead culture. Between casts, we were able to fill him in on the rise of the Soul River concept and the subsequent rise of our non-profit Soul River Inc. dedicating to giving back to veterans and inner-city youth. Telling the story afforded the opportunity for me to reflect on our journey and how our partners and supporters like LOOP and US Fish and Wildlife played more than an active role in bringing Soul River & Soul River Inc. where it is today. They were the crucial element needed to propel this grass roots effort into an effective community movement making a real difference in the lives of the youth and veterans we work with. Stay tuned for the story of Soul River that will be featured in Outside Magazine and a big thank you goes out to Patrick for spending the day with my river family, Brian Chou, Michael Davidchik, and Jaime Delgado!
Cool Shot by my good friend Brina Chou! Holding a muddler fly I tied.
Soul River would like to extend a big thank you to PIGFARM INK for coming out to Portland, Oregon for IRON FLY! There was an amazing turnout and great effort to support Soul River Inc. We also want to thank everyone who attended for their participation and support! We were thrilled that everyone came out to check out our retail space and learn more about the passion that drives us and the work we do in our local community and beyond connecting youth and veterans to the river. The night was a blast with very cool and creative fly tying. Sharing your creativity on the vise and being challenged to use a teddy bear as a source for a fly was interesting and fun for everyone kicking off the event. IRON FLY was a smash hit for all ages in attendance, thank you for an unforgettable evening!
Like always we want to thank LOOP and US Fish and Wildlife for their continued support to help us make it happen in our community and lastly our close friends, family, and river ambassadors who show unwavering support for all our programs and events!
Photography provided by Robert Parish, Travis Trautman, Tom Ranndal and chad brown