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Oct. 23, 2015

Commissioner Adam Putnam Encourages Wounded Veterans to Participate in “Operation Outdoor Freedom” Events

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam launched “Operation Outdoor Freedom” in 2011 in order to provide wounded veterans with the outdoor activities that they enjoy at no cost. Since the beginning of the program, more than 1,400 veterans have participated in the “Operation Outdoor Freedom” experience, and Commissioner Putnam encourages veterans who qualify to visit today to register for upcoming events. The outdoor excursions occur on state forests and private lands and are funded through private donations.

“Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedom, and ‘Operation Outdoor Freedom’ is one small way we can honor them for their selflessness,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

The Florida Forest Service, a division within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, arranges for the participants to fish, hunt, boat and more. Activities include: alligator, deer and hog hunts; quail and turkey hunts; saltwater and freshwater fishing; and kayaking and canoeing. Veterans and their families can also participate in an alligator egg collection and then help the eggs hatch at a local hatchery.

Areas of Florida State Forests dedicated to this effort are fully equipped to accommodate the needs of wounded veterans, providing an unique opportunity for recreation and rehabilitation. To be eligible veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of 30-percent or greater from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs or have received a Purple Heart.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit
Contact: Jenn Meale (850) 617-7737 Twitter: @FDACSNews