"The Reason Outdoors" is an organization founded by veterans of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Their unique mission is to provide opportunities for veterans, first responders, and families to engage in a wide range of outdoor activities. These activities encompass hunting trips, fishing excursions, and various other outdoor adventures. The organization's primary goal is to pass on the positive and therapeutic benefits of hunting and fishing to others. By organizing these outdoor experiences, "The Reason Outdoors" aims to promote physical and mental well-being, camaraderie, and a sense of purpose among veterans, first responders, and their families. They recognize the healing power of nature and seek to share it with those who have served and sacrificed. This initiative reflects their dedication to giving back and creating meaningful connections through the shared joy of outdoor pursuits.
MEET THE MAKERS
YAN "KOUP" KUPERUS
Ryan "Koup" Kuperus has an extensive background in the military, particularly in the Infantry, Reconnaissance, and Force Reconnaissance communities, spanning over 17 years. However, in 2017, he was medically retired from his military service. Despite the challenges he faced, Koup discovered solace and healing in his passion for hunting and the outdoors.
Hunting has served as a therapeutic outlet for Koup, providing him with a sense of purpose and healing that many traditional therapies couldn't achieve. Since his retirement, he has not only pursued hunting for his own enjoyment but has also been dedicated to involving other veterans in the hunting and outdoor activities he's passionate about.
Koup has taken on the role of a mentor to numerous veterans, sharing his experience, passion, and hunting expertise with them. His commitment to helping fellow veterans find healing and a sense of fulfillment in the great outdoors is commendable. He looks forward to continuing his mission of guiding and supporting more veterans on their own hunting journeys in the years to come.
Tony is a remarkable individual with an impressive 27-year tenure in the Special Operations community. His love for hunting and fishing has been a lifelong passion, instilled in him from childhood. Now, Tony is eager to extend the many positive impacts that these outdoor activities have had on his own life to other deserving individuals, particularly veterans, first responders, and their children.
With a wealth of experience and a deep appreciation for the healing and enriching effects of being in nature, Tony is committed to sharing these benefits with others who have dedicated themselves to service and sacrifice. His mission is to create meaningful and memorable experiences in the great outdoors, fostering a sense of camaraderie, tranquility, and purpose among those who have served and their families. Tony's dedication exemplifies a profound desire to give back and make a difference in the lives of others through the transformative power of outdoor pursuits.
ANDREW "DREW" SOMPLASKY
Drew is a distinguished Coast Guard Veteran who dedicated his career to serving in the Deployable Specialized Forces community. His deployments took him both domestically and across the globe, where he played a crucial role in supporting Maritime Counterterrorism Operations and Countering Transnational Organized Crime efforts.
It was Drew's affinity for outdoor activities and his yearning for fresh challenges that led him to develop a deep passion for hunting. Each hunting expedition presents a novel and exhilarating test, driving his enthusiasm further. Drew believes that by extending this experience to fellow veterans and first responders, he can best serve the rapidly growing community of individuals seeking their next endeavor.
Through this endeavor, Drew is not only providing an opportunity for others to engage in a fulfilling and invigorating pursuit but also creating a platform for camaraderie and shared experiences among those who have dedicated themselves to service. His commitment to giving back to the community of veterans and first responders exemplifies a profound sense of purpose and a desire to support others in their pursuit of new challenges and meaningful connections.
Kevin is a passionate outdoorsman with a notable presence in both the firearms and airgun industries. His dedication to these fields is matched by his service in the United States Air Force, which began after the events of 9/11. Kevin holds the men and women who serve in the military and as first responders in the highest regard, considering them the true heroes.
For Kevin, the outdoors, shooting sports, hunting, and fishing have not only provided him with purpose and satisfaction, but also a profound sense of tranquility. Committed to paying this forward, he is devoted to helping our nation's heroes discover the same sense of fulfillment. Kevin's involvement as a board member of "The Reason Outdoors" is a testament to his deep sense of honor and his earnest desire to support veterans, first responders, and their families in finding purpose and peace through outdoor activities. This role is a source of great pride and meaning for him.
DR. MARK BUFALINI
Mark is a dedicated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon based in Wilmington, NC. His background includes serving at Fort Bragg in the Army Medical Corps, where he provided essential care for U.S. service members and their families.
For Mark, hunting serves as a meaningful way to foster connections with friends and family, providing valuable quality time together. His appreciation for the outdoors and the bonds it creates are central to his life.
Choosing to be a part of "The Reason Outdoors" holds special significance for Mark. It allows him to carry on his commitment to serving veterans and first responders, a cause he deeply believes in. By contributing his skills and passion, Mark continues to make a positive impact on the lives of those who have served and sacrificed for our country. His involvement in "The Reason Outdoors" reflects his unwavering dedication to giving back to the community of veterans and first responders.