Above and Beyond

command team for excellence medal

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.

16th Calvary Brigade Combat Medal

16th Calvary Brigade Combat Medal

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.

—Jeff Perin

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