The product that DWS offers remains unique in a number of ways.
Bottom line up front - it's the human touch.
First and foremost, DWS hosts the majority of our own events rather than farming our guests out to hosts. Those host that we do use are highly vetted and fully understand the deep purpose of each weekend. Guests currently stay in one of two “lodges.” One lodge is my Dad’s (Brigadier General (Retired) Jim Daniel) house. The other lodge is a farm house provided by a Little Rock family. A group of four SOF operators – all close friends who have shared some hard days together – arrive at one of the two lodges each weekend. Guests hunt on 4,000+ acres that DWS either owns or has rights to. Guests purchase only a hunting or fishing license. All required equipment and meals are provided and ground travel for one vehicle is reimbursed.
Each group is tended to by one of four SOF veterans:
Colonel (Retired) Shawn Daniel, DWS Executive Director
Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Dennis Smith, DWS Vice President
Sergeant First Class (Retired) Nick Neuert, DWS Operations Manager
Colonel (Retired) Art Kandarian, member of the original group of hunters in 2002
All of these men are seasoned veterans with 3 to 8 of years combat experience and 12-26 years of time in service. Each of these men enjoyed a successful career in the military and know all too well the visible and invisible wounds of war and beyond. Over the course of the weekend, all are completely transparent in the struggles they faced, and their message throughout the weekend is simple - it’s okay to not be okay.
We arrive in the blind or deer stand well before sunrise. The shuffle of guns, ammo and hunting bags can be heard amidst the early morning banter. Then it grows quiet, and you can feel the woods coming to life. You can feel the anticipation growing. You can feel the peacefulness. When the hunt is over and breakfast is served, the impact of those moments before sunrise becomes evident in as the stories of morning’s adventure are recounted and pictures are shared.
From start to finish, the DWS product is professional. All facilities are modern with all the expected amenities. The equipment is fully functional and highly maintained. Hunting and fishing properties are rich with opportunity. Months of hard work are invested in preparing and maintain the hunting and fishing grounds.
A Delta Force operator once said, “you have no idea the good you are doing here.” Countless guests have said, “I had no idea how much I needed this” and “I now have a new family in Arkansas.” DWS believes it is changing lives and savings lives one weekend at a time, and stands proud of their 0.0% suicide rate.