HAPPY Veterans Day, a special recognition established as a public holiday in 1938 as Armistice Day and renamed in 1954.

It is a day when many veterans are thanked for their service, get discounts at retail outlets or free coffee and donuts or select meals at various restaurants. All of this is appreciated.

Last year I had the honor of writing the essay on Veterans Day for Outdoor Life magazine. I guess the editors felt that as a writer and a veteran I could be successful.

Basically my thesis was to help veterans get out. You can do this indirectly by supporting charities that effectively organize outdoor activities and therapies or directly, simply by asking a vet if they want to go fishing, hunting or boating etc.

Virginian Mark Oliva, a retired senior Marine Corps NCO and director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, offered excellent citations for the essay. He and I shared some highland bird field experiences with his Bourbon Labrador Retriever and my Boykin Spaniel Jameson.

It reminded me of the many veterans I have been fortunate enough to fish, hunt or otherwise work with over the past 25 years. On this Veterans Day 2021, a few get a shout out here.

Craig Boddington retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a senior officer. Thanks to OF Mossberg & Sons, he and I had a lovely few days hunting Gouldian turkeys in Sonora, Mexico. We doubled down on a pair of gobblers! Craig has edited several outdoor magazines, written 25 books and remains a staple on the big game hunting circuit.


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