Outdoor Freedom Network (OFN) was established by Terry and Connie Sympson at Jackson Hill Marina in 2007 to create opportunities for Veterans and their families to enjoy the great outdoors on Lake Sam Rayburn in Deep East Texas.
OFN does this by organizing, supporting, and promoting outdoor recreational therapy through our Patriots Challenge Program. Focusing attention on our Combat Veterans, and those under medical care for physical wounds, trauma, and depression recovery.
We had no idea of the power that access to the outdoors and especially fishing would have on the healing process, but we found out quickly and have been blessed to witness Mother Nature's nurturing embrace and healing for those who have suffered trauma at war and at home. Since then OFN has started and operates many programs, some of which include:
Patriot's Challenge - Recreational Therapy trips for VA hospital patients and combat veterans. Crappie fishing for veterans and quail hunting for combat veterans.
Deep East Texas High School Fishing Series - Brings dozens of local communities and hundreds of high school student anglers to compete and learn lessons to develop angling skills, ethics and care for our great natural resources.
Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall - Created to honor the sacrifice of Texans in the war on terror, and to remember the patriotism and heroism of our first responders.
Toys for Tots - The Sam Rayburn Lake Area Toys for Tots serves a three county area and provides a little bit of Christmas to over 2000 area families.
Brigid's Wood - A woodland walking trail and garden which will provide veterans a place to reconnect with nature, themselves, their family, and other veterans in a low-pressure environment.
R.S.V.P. - Program Station to coordinate local volunteer efforts for seniors in the East Texas area.
OFN was honored to receive the American Legion's "Enhancing the Lives of the Disabled" National Award in 2015, and the State of Texas Award in 2016.
Our guiding mission statement is simply: " We cannot all do great things, we can all do small things with great love".