What We Do
Reel Thanx is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces. It began as a desire to show our support and thanks to these brave young men and women.
Reel Thanx was founded in 2007 when founder Mike Mundy was inspired to take a soldier fishing after reading a similar ad on texasfishingforum.com. Mike contacted his friend Terry Johnson, founder of “Show of Support Military Hunt” in West Texas, for help in lining Mike up with a soldier who could use a fishing getaway. One soldier quickly turned into five; four were from Special Forces and one from the 82nd airborne and all had been wounded, some of them horribly. Many friends joined in with Mike in taking this first group of guys down to Lake Amistad in Del Rio, TX and with the help of generous donors, they were able to host the soldiers for a three-day weekend trip.
The purpose of that trip was to show those guys how appreciated they were for the sacrifices they had made in serving our country. The extent of what actually took place over the course of that weekend though, is difficult to put into words.
These soldiers were not only healing from their physical wounds, but also from their emotional wounds they carry. They’d endured some of the worst fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet they were humble, courageous, and believed that this fight is one we need to continue. These men were in the process of rehabilitation, and yet were ready to go right back to fight with their brothers when and if ordered.
On this trip, they had the opportunity to get back to nature, focus on the things they could do rather than their limitations and had the unique opportunity to form friendships and bonds with those who simply wanted to thank them for all they had done. Each evening, everyone would gather around on the back porch of one of the trailers and talk for awhile. This “Porch Time” as we now call it, became a great opportunity for them to get to know one another and to unwind. They were able to momentarily forget about the traumatic things they had faced, and breathe a sigh of relief.
By the end of that first trip, it was evident that this opportunity needed to be offered to many more of our active servicemen and women recovering from their wounds. Thus, Reel Thanx was born. A Board of Directors was formed, followed by an advisory board, all made up of men and women with the desire to give back to our troops who have given so much.
These Reel Thanx trips have become quarterly events, with small groups of soldiers (6-7 per group) being brought in for three-day weekend trips. The groups are flown in from various military bases across the U.S. from different branches of the military. The soldiers are housed in the homes of members of Reel Thanx during the full course of the weekend to keep these trips on a more personal level. Thanks to the generous donations of individuals and companies both within and outside of our community, these trips are completely free of cost to the soldiers.
Because Reel Thanx is a non-profit organization, ninety-five percent of all financial support received goes to the direct benefit of the soldiers. The board of directors and advisors to Reel Thanx are all volunteers with the great desire to giving back to these brave Americans. Reel Thanx operates with the help of only one part-time employee who handles most of their administrative duties.
We are so appreciative to the countless companies and individuals who have aided us in our efforts of growing this organization and reaching out to more of these soldiers. We look forward to the continued growth of our organization here in West Texas. Our ultimate goal is to inspire other groups around the country to organize subsequent chapters of Reel Thanx in an effort to offer this same opportunity to many other wounded servicemen and women.