Serving those who serve: Bullard veteran non-profit receives Governor’s Volunteer Award

Veterans Voices

BULLARD, Texas (KETK) – Hookset Brothers Combat Recovery, a small East Texas veteran non-profit, received a Governor’s Volunteer Award Monday morning.

This award recognizes organizations supporting or engaging volunteers that truly think outside the box to make volunteerism more accessible, more productive and more available to their fellow Texans.

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, who is also the Honorary Chair for the 2021 38th annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, announced the recipients Monday morning in Austin, saying that “Texans truly are generous by nature… I am so inspired by the generosity and selfless dedication demonstrated by volunteers across this great state over this past year.”

These awards are presented to 11 people or organizations that have shown exemplary service and volunteerism in the state of Texas. Among the recipients was the Hookset Brothers Combat Recovery 501c3, a non-profit for combat veterans to help them cope with the traumas of war. They recieved the award for Innovation in Volunteerism.

The Innovation in Volunteerism Award is a part of the 38th annual Governor`s Volunteer Awards. These awards, presented in conjunction with OneStar Foundation, honor the exemplary service of individuals and organizations that have made a significant and measurable contribution to Texas communities in the past year.

Hookset Brothers Combat Recovery 501c3 provides free hunting and fishing trips to veterans in an effort to aid in recovering from combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The organization was founded by wounded soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supports more than 100 combat veterans and their families each year.

“We have a lot of moments where guys break down and cry in the blind with us…we will cry with them because we’ve gone through the same struggles” said founder Adam Troy. “We understand that what he just experienced and the emotions he’s going through and the battles he has at night, we’ve been in the same combat boots… and we know that this opportunity may save his life.”

Troy said he couldn’t believe it when he got the phone call.

“I was like who is this? I don’t have time for this….what do you want?” he said. “He was like sir I’m really from the governor’s office…I was like oh awesome.”

Co-founder Martin Montoya said people don’t realize how much stress war heroes go through when they come back home.

“Being in the outdoors is just a sense of peace. You forget about everything and it helps you just focus on you and the task at hand,” said Montoya. “ It kind of gets you away from the stresses of life”

The organization also provides Gold Star families with hunting and fishing excursions while serving as male role models for children and teens during thier time of need.

Beyond these services, Hookset Brothers raises funds for fallen veterans’ funerals, host holiday celebrations for military families, and volunteer as coaches for various high school sports teams within their community.

Studies show that 22 veterans take their lives every day. The brothers say that number alone is their motivation to keep this resource going.

If you know a veteran struggling with PTSD and would like to take advantage of this program, click here.

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