I moved to Northwest Florida from Missouri in 2010 for an assignment with Air Force Special Operations. After two tours in Afghanistan, I decided it was time to fold up the uniform in 2016, and settled down in Fort Walton Beach FL.\nWhen I’m not working or studying for grad school, I fish. Before I bought a BOTE board, living near the beach was just that, “living near the beach”. Suddenly a new world opened up to my fiancé and I as we started paddling in any local waterway we could access. I loved learning to sight fish on my board, crack beers, and spend the whole day slinging bugs and piercing lips with my friends.\nMy BOTE board seems to find its way into all of my favorite memories and places here. From Florida state parks to fishing tournaments in Tampa, paddling has become a vital part of my outdoor experience. You can also find me biking on the trails, playing music, camping, sipping IPAs, or shucking oysters whenever possible.\nNow, as a veteran, I’m seeking ways to become involved with my military community and I hope to become a fishing guide for other veteran’s someday. BOTE’s support of veterans, from Operation Phoenix to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, has been an inspiring and important initiative that reflects the importance of community. When you step onto a BOTE, you’re stepping into that same community of people that are looking to get the most they possibly can out of their paddling experience.