Veteran fishing charter expanding its reach

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – A veteran-owned fishing charter in Savannah continues to expand into the military community.

American Fishing Charters recently hired a new Army Ranger as a mate. The boat captain bridges the gap between military life and civilian life.

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

“Jimmy’s steering operation and the movement and traction he’s going to have with veterans with their heads on the water is something special and I’m happy to be a part of that,” he said. he declares.

Captain Jimmy Lee Armel is a former Army Ranger himself, serving six tours overseas. Armel knows firsthand the importance of having an outlet for dealing with PTSD, crediting fishing as one way that saved his life.

“He doesn’t really click the shore much. I’m everywhere, the house is always messy, I have 20,000 things to do 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 never want to come home again,” Armel said.

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 everyday. I’m not going to sit here and say this defines me as a human being or anything like that, but it certainly was a monumental foundation for starting a life from a wheelchair or a leg behind everyone,” Davis said.

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

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

What American Fishing Charters is all about is helping veterans. They’ve already been able to wipe out dozens of veterans with their nonprofit Knot Lucky Fishing, and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“We are talking, calendar year from October to next October, that we are going to put 100 soldiers on the water to get back on their feet. We have a number that we will increase to get there. Jimmy puts his hard-earned dollar directly into his nonprofit, which is very rare,” Davis said.

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

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Robert A. Glidden