The Trout Unlimited Veterans Service Partnership (TU VSP) is a TU initiative with a mission to serve and engage our nation’s military family, all veterans, able and those with disabilities, active duty military, their spouses, and their families in Trout Unlimited. Through fishing and related activities, the VSP seeks to engage our nation’s military family with TU with the goal of involving them in a meaningful, life-long, and sustaining way with the TU chapter community locally and in TU conservation programs and initiatives.
There are no specific requirements to be included in the VSP program. Chapters are encouraged to seek opportunities that suit their interests, their location, and their volunteer resources. Some Chapters offer fly casting, fly tying, and fishing experiences through Chapter meetings. Others have programs with VA hospitals and clinics, with military hospitals, and college veterans service programs and clubs. Some do monthly meetings and events while others meet less frequently. The goal of VSP is to get our Chapters and members involved with Vets and wounded warriors, and to serve those who have served our nation to protect the freedoms we all enjoy.
SELLING POINTS OF VSP
The greatest selling point for Trout Unlimited’s VSP work is our network of 300,000+ members and supporters that operate out of over 400 chapters across the country. Each chapter is a ready-made community of passionate conservationists and anglers. Each wounded warrior/vet participant in the VSP program receives a complimentary membership to TU and is automatically assigned to a TU chapter. For many served by TU’s VSP, they are quickly integrated into their chapter community which becomes a haven where vets and wounded warriors can serve and be served in return. Much of our focus in the next few years will be to build on this chapter support system. We will be providing chapter volunteer leaders with tools and resources to mentor and encourage veterans to participate with chapter activities outside of the one, specific veteran-specific trip or event. We believe that chapters provide spaces where vets can once again serve, i.e. help with a stream clean-up or teach an eager young angler to tie flies. And in return, the veteran is provided with a ready-made community to support and serve him or her for many years. TU offers veterans participating in programs a free, one-year membership in TU.
The TU Veterans Service Partnership (TU VSP) is an initiative to serve our nation’s military family, all veterans, able and disabled spouses, and families and involve them with the TU community locally and in TU conservation programs and initiatives. The “P” in VSP stands for partnership, and the VSP has some GREAT partners including Project Healing Waters, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Higher Ground Sun Valley, Embrace-A-Vet, Rivers of Recovery, and Warriors and Quiet Waters .
2017 annual reporting data from TU chapters showed over 200 TU chapters running VSP programs geared towards serving and engaging veterans and our nation’s military family in the TU community. These chapters offered 682 chapter run events serving over 4000 veterans.