Author Jeremy Swift
My obsession with fishing started at a very young age. I was lucky with a few men in my family that fished and was even luckier that they all sat down with me and explained a few crucial fishing techniques and knot tying. That sure helped me excel thru my youth years. My uncle started taking me wade fishing San Luis Pass for flounder a young age. There was this white pole that use to stick out the water that we called the hole. It’s directly west of Red fish cove. We used a carolina rig with a live shrimp. One of my fondest memories growing up was staying the weekend out at SLP with my uncle in his white van he had. Most of the times we would go I would catch two to three flounder and as a young man that’s all I needed.
This one special time that sticks out more than any other trip we have ever had. We parked a little further than we usually did. I remember this walk to the hole because it was a good half a mile away. My uncle never cut me any slack which means I had to carry all my fishing gear. Donut, bait bucket, and tackle. keep in mind I was maybe seven or eight so this was a small feat for me. I can’t remember all the details but what I do know is I came in with ten flounder that day and my uncle came in with a little south of my number. That exact day changed fishing for me forever.
I joined the military in 2004 to become a armored crew member of a M1a2 battle tank. I went thru four months of training and got stationed at Ft. Carson Colorado. I deployed to Iraq shortly after I got to Ft. Carson in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom three (OIF 3) with 3D ACR. That year wasn’t the easiest I was a young man with no life experience with a brand new wife and child and here I am across on the other side of the world fighting a war. I look back at the ten years I was in and that platoon I was in was by far the best and most squared away platoon I ever served with.
We lost many men that year do to IEDs. My 1114 alone took five IEDs with our tank hitting two. That year probably changed me more than any single life event I have had up to that point. I left that 12 month deployment with a different outlook on life. I served nine more years after that deployment. I was never lucky enough to get out of a deploying unit. Seemed like the times I was home I was in the field training for a deployment or TDY doing training in another state away from my family. 2009 was my last deployment with 1st Armored division in Al Amarah, Iraq although this deployment was a tab bit different as in Combat operation’s the threat was still there with in direct fire. I lost count of how many mortar’s hit our base that year but that darn Incoming siren is something ill never forget.
Now down to the meat and potatoes of why I’m writing this. My experience in the military has completely changed the outlook I have on life now. I know how easy it is to lose a loved one and how life is all about making memories with the one’s you love. My family and fishing is something I’m absolutely obsessed with. My wife Jessica has truly shown me what having a family is all about and in my fishing adventures she has stood tall right behind me the whole way. My children have gave me fishing partner’s that I will have until it’s my time to leave this earth. I have many great memories with them on the water and I can not wait till we make more.
When Colby and I started talking about something we wanted to do in the fishing industry we both had some idea’s just not all the pieces of the puzzle together to execute. This all came down to one man in having the same idea we had just a different vision. We had our first meeting with all of our key people recently and it inspired me hearing everyone’s stories. It truly seem like the universe was speaking to us and by putting us in that room together. Jim Eberle had a vision and shared his story to us about what LTO was to him. Not only for me but I know that story stuck to all of us and it truly encompass what we are as family and lifestyle brand. I left that meeting feeling incredibly refreshed and extremely excited. so the question I have for you is. Are you chasing your dream’s and goal’s? Are you doing what truly makes you happy? Are you obsessed with something in life? if you answered yes to any of these then you are in the spot and in good company. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and KEEP ON CASTING.