In 2014, Veterans R&R formed the R&R Outdoors program as a way to engage veterans, provide an opportunity to take part in fun outdoor activities, spend time with peers and friends and learn about other ways that Veterans R&R can serve them.

Scroll through some great shots from past events and outings!!

This is the drone video footage from the LVVA Ice Fishing Derby 2016, set to music. A portion of the proceeds from this event goes to Veterans R&R. Thanks Logan Sinnett for a great job!

If you served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces congratulations you are part  of the 1% of the United States that signed a check due and payable for your life.

In 2014, Veterans R&R conducted a pilot test to potentially launch a program with a mission of engaging veterans, active duty service members and their immediate families through outdoor activities. Our first events included hunting and fishing outings. The overwhelming response was amazing and so Veterans R&R Outdoors Program was officially launched.

Why Outdoors

Our Outdoors Program is designed to provide veterans with an exhilarating, challenging and rewarding outdoors experience while connecting them to other veterans, active duty service members, military families, as well as professionals in the civilian sector.

Based on our own experiences and the results of our pilot these outings helped bolster confidence, self esteem and provide struggling veterans with the hope that they can live active and productive lives. Therapists have termed this “social reintegration”.

The suicide rate for veterans is roughly double the rate of those who never served. The VA’s National Center for PTSD reports that as many as 20 percent of Iraqi and Enduring Freedom veterans and as many as 30 percent of Vietnam Veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As of 2014, 24 US Military veterans or active duty service members per day commit suicide. That is up from 22 in 2012.

Studies have proven that connected veterans are far less likely to take their own lives.

As we grow, R&R Outdoors will expand to include a variety of activities designed with the same goal in mind, and that is to bring veterans, active duty, military families and caring civilian professionals together in a stress-free environment to connect with one another.

2016…What have we done?

  • 3rd Annual Fleet Fishing Excursion – R&R was able to successfully host its 3rd annual Lake Michigan fishing trip out of the Great Lakes Marina on June 18, 2016. We had roughly 45 vets out on 9 professional charter fishing boats. Thanks to Bob and Tim from Battalion 1 Sport Fishing Charters and Doug and Keegan from the Great Lakes Marina!

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  • Fishing on the Chain– In a partnership with the Fox Lake American Legion we were able to battle the heat on July 23rd and entertain a group consisting of wheelchair bound vets as well as a couple active duty sailors.

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  • Lake Michigan Sport Fishing – Battalion 1 Charters and their professional guides took us out 18 miles to find fish! A Korean War Navy vet, a Beirut, Lebanon Marine vet, and a Desert Storm Marine vet all hooked into some fish and had a good time!

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  • Chicago White Sox game – R&R, in cooperation with the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Wauconda American Legion Post 911 and the Chicago White Sox, entertained 20 veterans at US Cellular Field September 11th vs. the World Champion Kansas City Royals.
  • Chicago Cubs game – Armed Forces Night, August 31, 2016. R&R provided tickets and transportation for 5 active duty marines, 10 active duty sailors and 5 veterans. And the Cubs Won!!

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  • Pat Harrison Outdoors Fishing Trip – Captain Pat Harrison hosted a unique downtown Chicago fishing experience for 3 lucky military veterans!

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  • 3rd Annual K-Hill’s Rack and Spur Deer Hunt – President Jim Welch and Outdoors Director Dan Cahill hosted a Marine veteran and a Navy veteran in early December for a private weekend deer hunt. Nice job again boys!
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2017 Ice Fishing

MWR Ice Fishing Trip January 8th – The R&R ice fishing guides entertained 10 on the hard water on Bangs Lake. Enough fish caught to feed the crew. Fun time! More pics to come…

After fishing gathering for fresh fish!

Combat Veterans Ice Fishing on Lake Winnebago

  • Veterans R&R Outdoors played host to 8 combat veterans from Iowa on Lake Winnebago for a day of ice fishing, followed by dinner. Fishing was slow but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. Great bunch of guys!

 

More in 2017…

  • 2017 Veterans R&R Wild Game Dinner – March 25th…Sign Up NOW!!

  • Lake Thunderhead Crappie Fishing 2017… –
  • 4th Annual Fleet Fishing Excursion – June 17th, NOON – 1700. Sign up now!

We are always looking for new ideas. If you have an idea for an event please reach out to us. Organizations like us survive on volunteers and devoted supporters focused on the mission. If you would like to help make a difference in a someone’s life please contact us directly.      -Ryan Jacobsen / Program Director

 

Help Us Make These Special Events Happen!

Veterans R&R received our IRS 501(c)3 status as of August 7, 2014. We are 100% Volunteer supported, which means we want to maximize every dollar given to directly support the men and women who serve and who have served our country. We are working toward funding a full time program only staff member to manage the Veterans R&R Outdoors Program in 2017, devoting 100% of their time to coordinating and organizing every Outdoors event and fundraising efforts. With a staff member in place we will be able touch the lives of so many more veterans, active duty, and their families.

Veterans R&R respectfully requests your support for the Veterans R&R Military Outdoors Program. Please help us maintain a therapeutic, fun and safe environment for the healing of veterans, active duty military personnel and their families.

No donation is too small, every dollar helps make a difference, or possibly save a life.

Program Eligibility

Our programs are open to active duty servicemen/women and veterans of all timeframes. All applicants to our veterans only programs will be asked to verify their service with their DD-214 for veterans or government issued ID card for active duty military members. Some events will be open to veterans and active duty family members as well. Each event will specify who may apply.

Outdoors Goal

Through our fun activities we are giving veterans the confidence to get out of their houses, develop new key civilian and veteran relationships, ample opportunities for camaraderie and the freedom to go about their lives as they choose.

Veterans R&R Outdoors Program strives to provide a safe, relaxing environment where trusting relationships are built at every outing.

As veterans become more trusting and confident we assist to connect them by being a bridge to other outstanding Veteran Servicing Organizations that specialize in services they might additionally need e.g. mental health, human development, financial, educational, etc.  This assistance provides a vehicle for the next step for treatment or in the road to integrating to a civilian lifestyle.

Ultimately, as veterans become reintegrated and productive in society we encourage them to be a mentor to other veterans that may be entering into one of our programs.

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