At the Simms Fishing Products headquarters in Bozeman on Wednesday, the company presented a large grant to Warriors and Quiet Waters to help assist the non-profit with its veteran services.
“It means a lot to me because Warriors and Quiet Waters changed my life. I was injured in Afghanistan in 2017. One of my friends is a program director and he got me into the program. And it was—I mean it literally changed my life,” says Veteran Sean Gifford.
Gifford is a fishing guide at Warriors and Quiet Waters. He is a Green Beret and served in the armed forces for 21 years. After being injured in an explosion, Gifford needed guidance to find what his purpose was, and Warriors and Quiet Waters helped him do just that.
“Now I try to guide mostly for Warriors and Quiet Waters. I also go fishing for Grey Cliffs Ranch out at Three Forks—a great organization, they also support Warriors and Quiet Waters," says Gifford.
The grant check presented to Warriors and Quiet waters totaled $30,000. Chief Executive Officer of Warriors and Quiet Waters, Brian Gilman, is looking forward to the future effects this grant will have on the nonprofit.
“This specific gift was provided by the Vista Outdoor Foundation to really help Warriors and Quiet Waters build our program to do more for veterans,” says Gilman.
Gilman says the nonprofit plans to use this money to launch a new program next year.
“The program that we're launching next year will really combine the power of nature and fly fishing with a self-discovery process that will go on over a period of many months,” says Gilman.
Gifford says Simms had a big part in him being able to afford gear and launching his new career after serving in the armed forces. He is hopeful the new program that this grant will help launch will enrich the lives of veterans just like him.
“It's gonna be able to run at least one or two F X's and get guys that were in my position to be able to come through this program and hopefully it has the same profound effect on them,” says Gifford.