Veteran fishing charter expanding its reach

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 9:56 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:07 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A veteran-owned fishing charter in Savannah continues to spread its reach across the military community.

American Fishing Charters recently brought on a new Army Ranger as first mate. The boat captain is bridging the gap between military and civilian life.

Sergeant First Class Ryan Davis served five tours overseas from 2013 to 2019 but will now be spending most of his time on the water.

“Jimmy’s direction operation, the movement and the traction he is going to have with veterans getting their head’s right on the water is something special and I am glad to be a part of it,” he said.

Captain Jimmy Lee Armel is a former Army Ranger himself, serving six tours overseas. Armel knows first hand the importance of having an outlet to treat PTSD, attributing fishing as a way that has saved his life.

“It doesn’t really click on shore a lot. I am all over the place, the house is always a mess, I’ve got 20,000 things going on and I’m a stress ball. As soon as I break that beach it’s gone. You put Ryan on a boat with me, I don’t ever want to come home,” said Armel.

Both veterans say their experience as Army Rangers translates well into making them successful anglers.

“We used to say this thing called the Ranger Creed every day. I am not going to sit here and say that it defines me as human or any of that stuff, but it has definitely been a monumental foundation to start a life from a wheelchair or a leg behind everybody else,” said Davis.

Despite what others might consider a setback in being a triple amputee, Sgt. Davis sees it as an opportunity to prove you can achieve whatever you want in life, as long as you have the right attitude.

“He’s not disabled the accessible, he taught me that. I’ve seen him work harder than anybody else and then sit there and try to tell me, I’ll work on doing more. I’m like bro, how much do you want to do? I think it is extremely special to get these gunfighters out on the water, and not do it in a sympathetic kind of way, because that is not what it is about,” said Armel.

What it is about for American Fishing Charters is helping veterans. They’ve already been able to take out dozens of combat veterans with their nonprofit Knot Lucky Fishing, and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

“We are talking, calendar year from this October to next October that we are going to put 100 troopers on the water to get their heads right. We have a number that we are going to raise to come up with that. Jimmy puts his hard-earned dollar directly into his nonprofit, which is very rare,” said Davis.

If you want to learn more about Knot Lucky, click here.

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