US Army Retired SSG J.D. Williams served seven years in the military and fought through two deployments, one in Iraq (2007-2008) and the second in Afghanistan (2010). On his 2nd tour overseas with the 1-502nd Mohawk Infantry Scouts, he was leading a small reconnaissance team through dangerous enemy territory by foot when an improvised explosive device detonated directly underneath him. Still conscience and his team under enemy fire, he went to pick up his weapon and realized that his left arm was severely mangled, and his right arm was gone. Unable to sit up, he looked down to also see that his legs were no longer intact. He remained alert through the record fast medical evacuation out of dangerous territory. After arriving at the hospital in Germany, he remembers looking up at a nurse telling him that he was going to be okay. It was that moment that he went into cardiac arrest. The doctors were able to successfully perform a thoracotomy (cardiac massage) with no detrimental trauma to his brain.
Williams grew up in a small town in Montana where hunting and the outdoors were his life. His dad would haul him around in his hunting pack through the mountains before he was even able to walk. Throughout his own recovery, he has realized how therapeutic the outdoors can be. With all odds against him, he found ways to adapt and overcome his injuries so that he is still able to enjoy the things in life he is passionate about. He has learned to shoot a bow with the use of one arm and a mouth tab and has traveled all over the world hunting amazing territories. He also competes in shooting competitions and is a co-host with Southern Kentucky Great Outdoors on ESPN Radio.
"My passion for the outdoors led me to found Mohawk Outdoors. Our organization assists combat Veterans by incorporating hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures. I have seen firsthand how these types of opportunities can be therapeutic and I strive to provide similar opportunities to other Veterans that may benefit. It gives them hope and something to look forward to."
Chase was born and raised in Texas hunting and fishing with his dad. Upon graduation from Texas A&M he got involved in the hunting television production industry. He has spent the last 15 years traveling the world filming for some of the biggest shows in the industry. In those years he has had the opportunity, through his work, to make special bonds within the veteran community. Some have led to lifelong friendships. Having the chance to record many personal stories of our nation's warriors, some while personally knowing of their struggles after combat, he knew he had to get involved somehow. Chase had seen firsthand the healing power of camaraderie in the outdoors, so he decided the way he could serve those who had given so much for our country would be to reunite veterans in the outdoors. Mohawk Outdoors quickly became that organization.
"It was very important for me to get involved with a non-profit that didn't treat veterans as if they were something broken but celebrated them as warriors, so when JD Williams asked me to be a part of the Mohawk team I jumped at the opportunity. One of my greatest achievements in life has been helping Mohawk Outdoors start and manage our South Texas lease we call Freedom Camp. Freedom Camp is a place for combat veterans to be themselves and experience the outdoors with other veterans. It's more than just hunting; it becomes their land while they are at Freedom Camp. They are completely self-reliant and become a part of the process of managing the land."
US Army Retired SSG Jeremy Frost served six years in the Army and was deployed to both Iraq (2009-2010) and Afghanistan (2012). During his second tour of duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jeremy was on a dismount patrol with his team when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He instantly lost his left leg below the knee and shattered the remainder of his left leg along with parts of his right. His medic and team where quick to have him medevac'd out of the hostel area where he remembers vividly asking the trauma team, when the helicopter landed, if he could finally go to sleep knowing one way or the other he would make it home. Now came the long journey stateside to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. With many surgeries at hand and glooming questions on what the future held.
Jeremy was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle where sports, fishing, and the outdoors filled most of his time. While most of his younger years he missed out on most of the hunting scene, that time has surly been made up since! He vividly remembers spending time with his grandfather on their boat learning the ins and out of life from the outdoor prospective. Those memories hold true today and are why it is his passion to show others the joys and wonders of God's beautiful country. After his injuries in 2012 it didn't take Jeremy long to get back on the water and into the outdoors. In fact one of the first places he went after his release from the hospital, still in the wheelchair, was a local lake for some fishing!
"One of the biggest factors in my ongoing recovery, and note ongoing because the battle to overcome these injuries both internal and external never truly ends, has been in rediscovering myself and what I can accomplish when it's just me versus the wild. The outdoors have pushed me to places I never knew I could take myself not too many years ago. It is my passion to show all of our nation's struggling veterans the same kind of physical and mental relaxation that you can find when its just you, God, and nature."
US Marine Retired Cpl Skyler Coleman joined the Marines in 2008 out of a small town in Western Ohio as a 0311 rifleman. Skyler was assigned to 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines out of Camp Lejeune, NC. He deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, then to Haiti during the earthquakes in 09-10 for humanitarian aid, and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011. During his deployment in Helmand Providence, Afghanistan, in the Jahazzi area, his team was assigned to conduct daily combat patrols throughout the area. During one of these patrols Skyler stepped on an improvised explosive device resulting in the amputation of his left leg below the knee and the complete reconstruction of the remainder of his left leg along with significant damage to his left hand and arm. The aftermath of the blast left shrapnel in his face and neck, as well as, tearing off a portion of his left arm while severing the brachial artery. He was medevac’d to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland where he underwent ongoing surgeries and a lengthy recovery.
“Mohawk Outdoors has helped aid in my recovery tremendously. It allows me to link back up with veterans who have been in similar situations. It brings combat veterans together in the outdoors allowing us to enjoy today what some feel we have lost from the past. It personally makes me feel like my old self again when we are hanging out on these events meeting new people. It’s just awesome to get guys off the couch and reengaged through the outdoors. We get the chance to show them that life isn’t over, we have plenty left to go!”
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
MSG Griffis enlisted into the Army in January of 2004 as an 11B (Infantryman). He was assigned to A CO, 1/502 Infantry Regiment, Fort Campbell, KY. MSG Griffis deployed to Iraq in support of OIF (05-06) and again in OIF (07-09). In December 2009, he was selected to become a distinguished member of the 502 Infantry Regiment for his contributions and dedication. In May 2010, MSG Griffis deployed on his third tour of duty to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (10-11). From July 2012 to December 2014 MSG Griffis served as a Senior Drill Sergeant. During this time he helped mold and shape over 2500 future Infantrymen over 12 cycles. In January 2015, MSG Griffis was assigned to C CO, 1-27 Infantry Regiment, 2nd SBCT, “Wolfhounds” 25th IN DIV as a platoon sergeant where his platoon deployed to Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines to participate in Pacific Pathways 15. MSG Griffis has served in every leadership position from Infantry Rifle Team Leader to Senior OC/T NCOIC. MSG Griffis currently serves as the Senior O/CT NCOIC in 2nd Battalion, 289th Infantry Regiment, 157th Infantry Brigade, 1st Army East at Camp Atterbury, IN.
“Since I was a kid fishing has been my passion. From fishing trips to Canada with my dad to offshore fishing in Hawaii, I have always found peace being out on the water. Mohawk Outdoors has given me an opportunity to share that passion with other Veterans who may be struggling to find their place back in the outdoors. I look forward to sharing future fishing experiences with these Veterans and becoming better together”