Every veteran and retired first responder deserves to be celebrated and honored. And that is exactly what Record Rack and Trinity Oaks are doing with the Bucks for the Brave Program. If this is your first time hearing about the Bucks for the Brave, here’s a little insight.
The Cowboy Lifestyle Network Team had the opportunity to speak not only the Founder of Trinity Oaks, Tom Snyder, but also a few of the 2018 Winners of Bucks for the Brave. We hope that you will enjoy their story and be inspired to take action and nominate the hero in your life.
Tom Snyder, Founder of Trinity Oaks
I am so excited to share with you just a snippet of the conversation that I had with Tom, not only about Bucks for the Brave but also his Non-Profit Organization Trinity Oaks which plays a huge part in the success of Bucks for the Brave. Take a look!
Tom, I have read up quite a bit on your Non-profit organization, Trinity Oaks and we did an article on the Gold Star Family you helped back in May. But how did Trinity Oaks get its start?
“I grew up really poor in the deep south of Texas and loved the outdoors and hunting but didn’t have the opportunity to hunt because my family was too poor. I knew from a young age that if I ever had the chance, I wanted to give kids the opportunity to hunt that wouldn’t otherwise. I didn’t orginally want to be in the non-profit world but I couldn’t find an opportunity to give back that seemed right.
One year I just decided to take a group of under privileged kids out hunting and it just continued to grow after that. There was a turning point where we had so many kids involved, it just made sense to turn it into a Non-Profit organization, which is now Trinity Oaks. It started with a focus on youth and quickly grew into many other programs.
Even as Trinity Oaks grows, I want to stick to where we came from. It’s about the kids and giving people an experience they would never have otherwise.”
I read that you process over 10,000 pounds of meat monthly and that meat is donated to address hunger and food insecurity in Texas. Can you go a little more in-depth on this for our audience?
“Whenever we do an event or a hunt, we offer the family or individual on the hunt 50% of the processed meat, if they want it. The other 50% goes to food banks, like San Antonio Food Bank and they distribute it across Texas. We also work with other ranches who are tryng to manage their herds. Often, those ranches donate their meat to the cause as well. We have our own volunteer-run processing plant and from there it gets distributed to third party organizations to distribute it as they see fit.”
I have spoken with some of last year’s winners on what their experience was like, but what is your personal experience with the Bucks for the Brave Hunt? Is there any moment or moments, in particular, that stand out to you?
“They are all special. It’s the moments when you know you had an impact on someone that has given it all. All we are doing is offering a hunting trip to these folks but a lot of them have given so much more. The emotion and passion that I see from these guys is astounding. It’s lifechanging being able to sit around a campfire with the men and women that have given up so much for our Country.”
To wrap us up, do you have any closing thoughts or anything that you want our audience to know?
“Just that one thing we have learned is that everyone can give back regardless of where you are financially or physically or just by giving their time. We can all find a way to give back, whether it’s sitting by a fire listening to their stories, donating your time, talent or treasure. At the end of the day, it’s about helping people and being able to give back to someone who has given up so much.”
Jim Angott, Son of 2018 Winner, Korean War Air Force Veteran, Tom Angott
This was a truly exceptional interview I was able to do with Jim, son of one of the winners from last year. His dad was 85 years old when he went on this hunt last year and Jim was allowed to attend the hunt with his dad as his “caretaker.” As you read through the interview, I hope that you can feel even just a little bit of the emotion that was captured in this script. Enjoy!
I read your nomination for your dad, but can you share with our audience why you wanted to nominate your dad for the Bucks for the Brave Hunting Trip?
“There’s something about growing up in the hunting world and having it turn into not only a lifestyle but a living and it was a direct result of being raised by my dad. As time went on, it turned into a family ordeal. My sisters are also really involved with the outdoors as well as all the grandkids.
When I heard about Bucks for the Brave I thought it was a great opportunity to honor my dad and his service in the Korean War. It was a great way to throw his name in the hat for the hunt and give him a chance at this amazing opportunity. He had never shot a really good buck so this was my way of giving him that chance. Something that really touched me was when my dad say this,
“Ya know before I go, I would really like to shoot a good buck.” So that’s what I set out to do. And Bucks for the Brave allowed him to have that experience.”
What do you think about the Bucks for the Brave Program as a whole?
“To describe the experience, it was beyond special. It changed my dads life at 85 and it definitely changed my life for the better. It was great being able to accompany my dad for the whole experience. They don’t normally allow a second person on the hunt with the winner but because of my dad’s age, they allowed to me attend as a caretaker although my dad showed up in great spirits and was able to complete his hunt at 85, right before his 86th birthday.”
Can you tell us a little about your own experience accompanying your dad on this trip?
“It was the people. The people behind this hunt, between Record Rack and Trinity Oaks it was overwhelming, but in a good way. They started with a hug every morning and were just so respectful towards my dad and the rest of the veterans. One thing that stood out was that the veterans were put first and foremost every day. The whole experience was one hundred percent about the veterans from the start of the process to the very end. With his age, this experience gave him a purpose and gave him some outstanding memories.”
What would you say to the family of veterans who are considering nominating someone?
You can’t experience something like this unless you take the time to do it. If there is someone that you love or don’t even know, take the time to honor them. Why wouldn’t you put their name in the hat for this kind of experience. It’s truly life-changing.”
Now that you’ve heard the backstory, here’s what the winners of Bucks for the Brave receive. There will be one winner from each category (5 branches of service, retired law enforcement, retired firefighters) who will be chosen by a committee of Active-Duty, Veterans and First Responders. The contest is open to military Veterans, retired Law Enforcement and retired Firefighters but they cannot be active in their roles in any way. Winners will receive an all-inclusive, all-expense-paid hunting trip on Veterans Day Weekend (November 8-12), at Thumbtack Ranch in Batesville, TX.
In closing, all heroes deserve to be honored. From all myself and the entire Cowboy Lifestyle Team, we hope that you will take the time to nominate the hero in your life. But hurry, because nominations close Sept. 20th! You can find more information on Record Rack’s website: Bucks for the Brave.
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