Over my 26 years at the Fly Fisher’s Place the opportunity to help people has come up from time to time. I’ve learned you never know how a simple gesture might really make an impact on someone’s life.
The other day I came back to the shop to a medal called a Combat Challenge Coin. The more I look at this medal, and the more I think about it, the more touched I am over this because this was given to a soldier who went above and beyond in duty over there.
Several years ago I simply gave a FFP hat to a soldier on his way to Iraq. I can’t imagine the sacrifices he made, or what he went through while in combat? Unless you were there, I’m not sure anyone can.
I frequently donate to fishing/conservation non-profits, and to cancer research and kids programs. It’s a part of giving back to the community that I feel needs to be done when you operate a successful business. To give a hat to a guy deploying for a war was about as simple of a gesture I could make for someone I wasn’t sure I’d ever meet again but I know wanted to bring something from “home” with him.
I can’t be sure how many years have passed since this, but I am honored this man still thought of me, our fly shop hat, and getting home.
There is part of this story that is disappointing. I don’t know who left it. It came with a simple note of thanks. So, Scott, if you are reading this brother, Thank you! This is a continuation of going above and beyond in everything you do. I am honored to put this on my tying desk and I will think of you and all the soldiers who went above and beyond when I am tying flies.