Troop Industrial Salutes Gary Bartels With OATH Inc.
This time of year can be especially difficult for members of the armed services. The holiday season is always a reminder of the empty seats at the table and the loved ones that are unable to be present to share the moment. As a veteran-owned and run business, we know what it feels like to spend a holiday apart from your family. Many members of the Troop Industrial team have served, and we’re all patriots who support those who are currently serving.
Another major challenge is re-integrating with society after a tour of duty in active combat. With these challenges in mind, we wanted to take a minute in the rush of the season to appreciate the work of a nonprofit organization called OATH, Incorporated. This post is a shout-out to founder and executive director Gary Bartels. You’re the man, Gary.
OATH Was a Calling to Help Our Heroes
Gary Bartels firmly and whole-heartedly feels that the creation of OATH was a calling given to him by God while serving on the battlefield in the middle east. No hidden agendas. No false pretenses. No desire for fame or fortune. Just a promise.
The Outdoor Association for Texas Heroes, Incorporated — or OATH, Inc. — is a faith-based nonprofit run by a combat veteran to improve the quality of life of our resident Texas Veterans, many of whom have been wounded or disabled in the course of combat action in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, or Vietnam.
In the video, Gary puts it like this:
“The overall goal is very simplistic. It’s to get these guys back into an outdoor environment, back into an arena if you will, where they’re spending time with their fellow combat brothers and we build and strengthen that camaraderie that’s already there that might have been missing in the past due to their experiences in combat.”
The truth is that a lot of our armed service members return from combat in a condition where the last thing they want to do is lift another rifle and head out on a hunting trip to sit, armed, in a deer stand, waiting for the moment to strike. By working with OATH and being around other like-minded people with experiences they can relate to, these veterans can find an easier path to social reintegration.
Gary’s organization is centered around Faith, Family, and Community. The hunting and fishing and camaraderie provided by OATH is all about providing our veterans with the healing opportunities they need to feel that belonging again — to become whole.
Warrior Wives Are the Strength Behind the Strong
We all know our nation’s warriors are strong. Perhaps the only stronger force is the spouse that stands beside them. Military spouses must embrace the fact that they’re the entire parental force at home until the return of their military partner.
Gary’s incredible wife Regina Bartels planned a Warrior Wives Retreat as an OATH initiative to celebrate the strength of the bonds created by these Warrior Wives. You can hear her explain it in her own words in this video:
Only other military wives know what it’s like to be the one shouldering the responsibilities at home while their hero is off taking care of business for America. We applaud Regina for her work supporting the crucial other half of the veteran family experience.
Get Involved and Attend an OATH, Inc. Event
If you’re a veteran who’s interested in spending time with OATH, first thing’s first. Gary and the whole OATH team thank you sincerely for your service and your sacrifice. Defending the United States of America is a noble calling that not everyone is cut out for, and you’ve done it. You’ll have that forever.
The OATH Inc. team is honored and humbled by your desire to join them in the great outdoors, and they have a two-page application they welcome you to fill out so that the Board of Directors and State Chapter leaders can find an event that’s perfect for you. More details here.
Again, thank you for everything you’ve done in the name of defending freedom.