Founder/President Jacob (Jake) DeLong. When it comes to Veterans and their mental and emotional wellbeing, Jake DeLong wears his ‘heart on his sleeve’. He is a decorated combat veteran who served with the 1st Armored Division in Germany and then at the height of the troubles, in Iraq. DeLong is passionate about his founding, “Vets 4 Hunt
Founder/President Jacob (Jake) DeLong. When it comes to Veterans and their mental and emotional wellbeing, Jake DeLong wears his ‘heart on his sleeve’. He is a decorated combat veteran who served with the 1st Armored Division in Germany and then at the height of the troubles, in Iraq. DeLong is passionate about his founding, “Vets 4 Huntn & Fishn,” and the good works it does to help vets in distress. “We’ve lost two more good men from my unit to suicide in the past 6 months,” says DeLong. “To those of us who survived the trauma relatively unscathed we feel obligated and proud to keep serving our buddies. With help from our donors, “Vets 4 Huntn & Fishn“ is providing a sense of belonging and outdoor pursuits that include, hunting, fishing, trail riding and hiking. Born and raised in Northern California in the tiny town of Clear Creek, DeLong attended nearby Westwood High School and joined the Army in 2004 straight after graduation. After completing Basic Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was posted to Germany for 15 months before landing in Iraq for his final tour of duty. Upon his return to the US in 2007 he attended Mojave Community College on the GI Bill before transferring to Arizona State where he graduated with a B.S. in Justice Studies He is married with three children and calls Missouri home.
A founding member of Vets 4 Huntn & Fishn, Josh has been an integral part of the team since the beginning. "I love seeing the impact we have on people's lives, both in the short and long term. Talking to people at each event, and hearing how we've helped enact change in their lives; it's an amazing feeling." As a Veteran himself, Josh has witnessed the sacrifices Veterans and their families make in serving their country.
Vets 4 Huntn & Fishn board member since 2017, Arick became involved with the organization when he was asked to lead a bear hunt. Like many, after seeing the impact these outdoor adventures had on the Veterans, he felt compelled to do more. "Vets 4 Huntn & Fishn changes lives. I love to take my knowledge of the outdoors and share it with our Nation’s heroes. They get a lot out of being able to escape the battles they're facing, even for a day. By going out on these trips with us, they're reminded that their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed; this in itself brings great pride to all of us."
Joe Reekers is a retired US Navy Submarine Veteran. While located in the Central Valley of California, some of Joe's favorite pastimes include waterfowl hunting, fishing, flying and spending time with Veterans.