God, Family, & Country
Jun 16, 2019 | Christensen Arms
For me, it is really this simple: God, family, and country. As a veteran and the father of veterans, I am exceptionally proud of all my children as they champion the same values with their own families. One of the freedoms that we hold most dear, and part of the reason we chose to serve, is the opportunity to enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. We have been lucky enough to share many days together catching cutthroat trout out of a stream or following lion hounds in the fresh Utah snow to a tree with a nice tom asleep in the branches.
The passion for things outdoors is something that many are born with and one that some do not understand. I count myself as blessed, to have my kids share that passion with me. If we judge the time spent with loved ones by the “quality” of that time, I contend that there are very few other pursuits that can compare to the hours spent camping, hunting, or fishing. No screens, no internet, and often no cell phones.
Last month I traveled with my sons to spend a week in the southern alps of the South Island of New Zealand looking for Tahr. The dedicated work of American Hero Adventures helped make the experience a possibility for the three of us. When the only means of talking to the world is a satellite phone, you have a tendency to be better at first person communication. You tend to be more present. With all the hours of glassing, climbing and then relaxing at camp, you can relive old memories while making new ones. Without so many of the modern distractions you are able to return to the deeply personal aspects of being with each other. We each were fortunate enough to successfully take a bull Tahr, but the real (and to me, more important) take-away was the one on one time with the people that mean the most to me in life.
So on this Father’s Day I am grateful for God, family, and country. I am grateful for wild places to escape the day to day concerns that we all have, and I am especially grateful to be a father lucky enough to have sons and daughters that will share those experiences with me. I am grateful for the freedoms that allow us to determine what our passions are, and the latitude to pursue them as we see fit. I will always try to make the most out of the opportunities I am presented with, and express my gratitude that those opportunities are in the outdoors.
Also, as a veteran, I am mindful of those fathers that will not be home this Father’s Day. Let us remember them as well, and their sacrifices for us all.
This guest post has been contributed by Jeff Bradley—a Christensen Arms employee.
Photography courtesy of Fornever Productions.