JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida's wounded veterans are being offered an official invitation to register for a free offshore fishing trip this June. It's through the state's program Operation Outdoor Freedom, which launched in 2011. Since the program started, more than 2,900 wounded veterans have participated in hunting, fishing, boating and other recreational events at no cost.
This free offshore fishing trip will launch first thing Tuesday, June 20, from Carrabelle, Florida. Participants will need to arrive the day before, June 19.
Space is limited, so eligible veterans must register online for the trip through this direct link. (Scroll down to where events are listed and click on "Carrabelle Offshore Fishing Trip." You will then be prompted to click the "Apply" button. Either log in or create a free user account.) Participants will be drawn at random prior to the event and will be notified by email.
“Operation Outdoor Freedom is a special way of connecting the natural resources our state is blessed with to the men and women who've courageously and selflessly put their lives on the line,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. “It's the least we can do for those who have done so much for us.”
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, organizes and hosts the events where participants can fish, hunt, boat and more.
Outdoor excursions are held regularly on state forests and private lands throughout Florida and are funded through private donations and support.
Participation in the Operation Outdoor Freedom Program has been established for Florida residents, as defined in s. 379.101(30)(b), who are honorably discharged military veterans with either:
- A service-connected disability rating of 30% or greater from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs
- Or a Purple Heart recipient
If you would like more information on Operation Outdoor Freedom or to learn how you can get involved and help honor Florida's wounded veterans, go to OperationOutdoorFreedom.com.