Serve This Country

On The Shoulders Of Giants With Andrew Curtis.

Andrew Curtis | May 4, 2024

Andrew Curtis says he is proud to be a part of the GON Community, a group of like-minded hunters and anglers.

I recently had lunch with one of my high school friends who graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York and proudly served time fighting our enemies in Afghanistan. After admitting the guilt that I have felt all these years for not serving my country in a military uniform like so many of my family members have, I listened as my soldier friend explained to me what service really is.

“The military is not for everybody,” he began, “but there is no excuse for an American citizen not to serve his or her country. There are tons of ways to benefit society, starting with just being active in your community, like volunteering to coach a little league team or offering time at the local school. We can all play a part in making this country better.”

He paused for a few seconds to glance around the room.

“The thing that bothers me the most is when I hear people complain about what’s wrong in this country, but then they do absolutely nothing to try to change it. If you have a problem with how something is going, get out there and do something about it.”

My mind drifted to the GON Community. How privileged I am to be included in such a strong organization, one that can amplify a small voice like mine… or yours. GON gives us a sturdy platform to really be impactful. GON provides us a way to serve this great country.

One point that I do not like to mention but feel that I must is the pessimistic attitude that sometimes pervades social media. Recently, I saw a post on from a disgruntled individual who complained about public hearings concerning some of the current hunting topics. He felt that there were no in-person opportunities for hunters in his area and sarcastically made reference to no one caring about his region of the state. Well, what’s holding anyone back from making a phone call or two to get the wheels in motion to organize a meeting in that area? Instead of complaining, just act.

It is impossible for any organization to please all of its members all of the time, but I believe GON does an exceptional job of trying. Before criticizing, understand that GON members are fighting for the same big issues. Sure, we may differ on smaller matters, but the important topics we should be united in, like protecting the American values we love. Remember, we have strength in numbers. Let’s support each other.

When I flip through the awesome Georgia Outdoor News magazine every month, I am in admiration of all the outstanding people who make it what it is. I am certainly proud of the recognition given to GON’s military members, and I will forever give a heartfelt salute to this group. Then, I look at the rest of us and see the value that we also add to our country. If you have something to say about our hunting and fishing rights, don’t be scared to speak up. There are likely many more with similar thoughts. And it is OK to disagree, but just do so in a controlled, respectful way. That’s how we really get positive results.

GON has a dependable track record of supporting the America that we love. Let’s continue that tradition and serve this country. God bless GON, and God bless America!

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