To whom much is given, much is expected!
It’s a motto we strive to live by, and it’s out of that goal that Operation Artemis was formed. Our charity is very special and personal to our family, but it is only possible because of the support of our community. We may not talk about it daily, but it’s always present in what we do and we thought it was time to tell the story of how it started and our mission to have this work live on long after we are gone. This is our story.
In 2016, my husband Seth, now a retired Green Beret sniper, was wrapping up his last deployment in Afghanistan. It had been a hard decade, of intense training, many back-to-back deployments, the heartbreaking loss of friends, close calls, sacrifices and so many missed memories. During that time I started a clothing business to keep my mind busy during those long deployments. Instead of being paralyzed by constant fear of a knock at the door that would forever change my families future, I used that time to focus my energy on something I could control. I found pockets of time between naps, play time, being mom and dad to our two young kids and endless laundry to build a community and a strong business.
It was in a phone call during the last weeks in Afghanistan that we talked about what was next, and how we couldn’t wait to get him home safe. Call it coincidence or fate, Seth at the same time had seen a raffle that was raising money to send a wounded warrior on a hunting trip. We talked about buying tickets to support the effort or sponsoring a hunt ourselves. After some research, we became frustrated by how some organizations use donations. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many incredible causes and groups, but none with the specific outdoors focus we were so passionate about. We believed we could make a difference for soldiers and their families, without administrative fees and salaries. SEE A NEED AND FILL IT is a saying within LuLaRoe, the company I’m proud to partner with in my business so we had the crazy idea to start our own organization.
OPERATION ARTEMIS was born when Seth returned home. The name comes from Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Seth loves the outdoors and has used that time alone in mother nature to decompress and deal with the stresses of war and transitioning from special operations back to everyday life. From our experience, many Special Forces soldiers are not taking advantage of resources to talk to professionals about their feelings. But after a long day of hiking, while sitting around a campfire with someone who has also “been there”, those feelings are more likely to be shared. Providing soldiers, wounded both physically and emotionally with a once in a lifetime hunting and outdoor opportunity is one prong of our mission.
The second prong is about the families who support those soldiers and serve right alongside them. As a military wife and the mom to two young kids during all of those years of deployments, my greatest fear was telling my children their dad was not coming home. Out of that need to give back to those families whose husbands and fathers didn’t come home came our Operation Artemis Family Retreat! Being a gold star family is a club no one wants to be a part of, but we knew bringing families together and giving them a support system, a break from everyday stresses, and some great memories could help. The goal is a brief break from the sadness and loss, but also create some new happy memories and have other Green Berets teach skills like archery, fishing and how to pitch a tent. These are all things their dads likely would have done if they hadn’t made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
We fund this 501-(C)(3) federally recognized charity by donating $1 from every item we sell in our LuLaRoe clothing boutiqueand our Love Lindsey Extras Accessory line to Operation Artemis. One hundred percent of the money donated and raised goes to veterans and families! Thanks to the support of our customers and our community we are continuing to plan hunts for wounded soldiers and our next retreat for gold star families in the coming year. You can check out our website HERE!
We also use the money to support other efforts within the military community to make a difference. Last year we were honored to donate $10,000 to Fisher House to help refurbish a house on Ft. Lewis, an army base in Washington that houses families free of charge when their soldier is in the hospital.
I’m so proud to be a military wife and am incredibly grateful for my husband’s brave service and that of the men he served beside in special operations. We are no longer managing the cycle of deployments and living for those rare satellite phone calls, but not a day goes by that those still serving our country are not in our thoughts and prayers.
We hope that Operation Artemis can continue to have a lasting positive impact and give back to those brave men, women, and children who have given so much for our country.
Thank you for supporting our small businesses and this blog! We are grateful for you all! It is because of your support that we are able to give back and serve this deserving community. And thank you to those service members serving today and the families at home supporting them - we are forever grateful!