My name is SGT Luevano. I've been in the Army since May 28th 2013. I started out in Fort Drum New York then moved to Fort Campbell Kentucky in 2015. I have always loved the outdoors and enjoy fishing. At the beginning of 2018 I started watching some videos on bowfishing and I was instantly attached. I reached out on a local Facebook bowfishing page when James McElfresh sent me a message and offered to take me out one night. We went out bowfishing that night I instantly knew that we would be great friends. He begins to tell me about Resiliency Outreach. I was touched by how caring and how awesome this program is. Around August of 2018 I found out I was supposed to be deploying to Africa and James gave me a call that same day and told me about a bowfishing tournament in Warsaw Missouri. I of course took him up on the offer and represented Resiliency Outreach in the Salute To Service Veteran Bowfishing Tournament. I was of course still nervous about opening up to James even though he always told me her would always be here for me when times were tough or he would show me to someone within the Outreach that could help me. Well March 2019 rolled around and my exwife filed for a divorce it was one of the toughest times I had to deal with. I came home to empty house and my kids taken away from me. I was then ordered to go to Advanced Leaders Course in Fort Sill Oklahoma. I was a mess and couldn't focus on class and it lead to me failing out of the school. I was lost and ready to end it all. I was ready to drive on the highway with no thoughts for anyone and kill myself. I decided to finally open and call James. Not only did he help through this tough time but he and the Resiliency Outreach team kept checking on me. This team is the best team I could ever ask for. They have provided so much support for not only myself but for so many people in the veteran community. For those that don't know much about these guys just reach out and for those that are hurting or in dark places just reach out to me or to other veterans that understand. Thank you Resiliency Outreach for everything y'all have done for me and keep riding forwards!
I have had the honor of joining Resiliency Outreach, Inc. on a few outings now. Thanks to them, I have found a new passion that has inspired me to keep growing, and that passion is bowfishing. They have provided the opportunity and equipment to help me connect with nature, balance myself, grow as a man, and connect with others who genuinely care about helping out vets. When I see a message from any of the Resiliency Outreach, Inc. connections I have made I light up. My wife and I have connected better as a result of me having something to do and events to look forward to as well as people I can reach out to just to escape whatever may be bothering me at the time. This groups truly embraces the ideas of brotherhood, connection, and resiliency. They don’t care who you are or what your military past may be like, they just want to see vets having fun and growing and this has been a life changing experience for me.
I had to take a break from teaching for a year due to personal issues, but I took the time to get involved with groups and figure out what things I can do to take care of myself. Through this exploration I was linked to Resiliency Outreach, Inc. and a spark was lit. When I was getting ready for the first event I asked what all I needed and the response was the one thing I knew I could bring and that was “a positive mental attitude” and I brought it. The rest of the people involved with the outing brought that and more and it was infectious. I learned how to shoot fish and it became addictive. I look forward to getting out on the water and challenging myself with these skills. I also have met some of the greatest guys who just want to get out there and have fun. Though I am in Tennessee, I am starting to consider part of myself from Kentucky thanks to these guys. They make me feel as though I belong and that I am just a good old country boy looking to have a good time out in nature and this is something I have never experienced in my life. Thank you for all you have done to help me grow and take care of myself.