Our 3rd Annual Patriot Rendezvous took place August 31st – September 1st in Uwharrie, NC thanks to Overland Experts LLC (OEX). We had ten veterans participate in a weekend of adventure therapy organized through our Patriot Therapy program with everything provided. Veterans representing the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy came together to build friendships that will support more fulfilling experiences for America’s heroes.
The Weekend Kicks Off
It was a relaxed schedule for our veterans beginning with setting up camp Friday night while True Patriot Inc. (TPI) staff, and a volunteer from our friends at BackroadVentures (BRV), prepared dinner and built a campfire.
Saturday morning TPI and BRV were up early preparing a hearty meal of potatoes mixed with peppers and tomatoes, bacon, eggs, cinnamon rolls and coffee before heading out for a day of off-road driving on the Grand Overland District, Ledger Shoals. I had the pleasure of providing an abbreviated 4WD-101 class before everyone hit the trails. Some veterans had their own vehicles, while others drove OEX vehicles, Mike’s personal Jeep, and the BackroadVentures 4Runner. Our heroes enjoyed 6 hrs on the trails with lots of flexing through obstacles. We had the opportunity to perform a recovery with the new ARB hydraulic jack, one with my Hi-lift 60” Patriot jack (performing a makeshift tire lift with soft shackles) and experience the ease of traction boards.
The day ended with a phenomenal catered dinner of smoked ribs and chicken, cheesy mashed potatoes and baked beans along the river before heading back to camp. Around the campfire once again, we all relaxed while enjoying smore’s and drinks as we chatted about past experiences and shared military banter.
A Little Black Powder Therapy
The camp awoke Sunday morning in great spirits, and the flowing coffee helped set the tone for a great day. After breaking camp, the group headed back to Grand Overland District for a morning of 5-stand skeet shooting. For three of the participating veterans this was their first experience shooting skeet and they had a great time. Each blasted clay pigeon brought joy, relief and re-vitalization. Following the 5-stand our heroes moved to another part of the property and shot several hundred rounds of 5.56, 9mm, .40 cal and .30-30 at various targets.
The event concluded with new friendships made, great experiences had, and future opportunities for adventure. Some of our veterans broke down barriers, some realized they didn’t have to act tough and some figured out that they had deployed together as members of the same unit. So much Patriot Therapy happened at the True Patriot Rendezvous.