This past Thursday evening supporters of Trout Unlimited and our Veterans Service Partnership gathered in Washington, DC in the palatial law office of Arnold & Porter to salute the service of our nation’s veterans.Our 3rd annual fundraising dinner began with a Presentation of the Colors by the US Navy Ceremonial Guard and a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem sung by MUC Yolanda Pelzer of the US Navy Band. As our 200 honored guests settled in for a great meal they were treated to comments by Chris Wood, our President and CEO, and following Chris I had the honor of introducing Adm. Dennis Blair (former Director of National Intelligence) and Mr. Jeffrey Smith (Senior partner at Arnold & Porter and former General Council of the CIA), our co-hosts for the evening.
Following their inspirational remarks, I introduced our Guest Speaker, former Army Ranger Capt. Chris Yasher. At each year’s event we strive to have as our speaker a veteran that has experienced first-hand the healing and rehabilitation that our program provides and we could not have done better than having Chris address us this year. Chris’ story was representative of the commitment to service and sacrifice that we honored throughout the evening.The evening concluded with a rousing live auction that augmented the funds raised through the silent auction and the many raffles. My thanks to every attendee and to every vendor (like Scott Hunter from Vedavoo on the left)that donated items for the auctions. With the funds raised on Thursday evening we are assured that our work with veterans will continue to expand and thrive.