Why We Do It

Captain Jimmy, Founder of Knot Lucky, suffered from PTSD after getting out of the army. He knows first-hand the challenges involved in returning to civilian life. The transition is daunting and can seem hopeless. Knot Lucky takes veterans who are suffering from PTSD out on the water for free off-shore fishing trips. The act of escaping from landing and getting out on to the water provides an escape from challenges that can seem insurmountable. Knot Lucky will provide resources to help veterans feel purpose again which will lead to happy, fulfilling and successful lives.

My Story

Captain Jimmy Armel served in the United States Army from 2005-2016. He did a deployment to Iraq as an Infantry Team Leader in 2007 where he led a team in some of the heaviest fighting of the war, in Sadr City. While in Iraq, Jimmy decided to reenlist and go through the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP) to become an Army Ranger. Upon completion of RIP, Jimmy reported to the 1st Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment where he completed five more deployments in various jobs from rifleman to Reconnaissance Team Leader. Jimmy’s first mission as an Army Ranger was Objective Berlin, where two men were lost while engaging in an assault on an enemy terrorist camp. This mission was featured in the History Channel show “Warfighters”.

After being forced to medically retire due to combat related injuries, Jimmy began his downward spiral in his battle with PTSD and alcoholism. He felt his life duty as an Army Ranger was the only thing he had left and without it his life had no validity. On top of having no life validation, he started to have depression, along with feelings of guilt, anger, and hate, escalating his alcoholism. The memories of the atrocities of war increased his problem and he became physically dependent on alcohol as his way of coping. He suffered from nightmares, depression, and physical outbursts which caused minor run-ins with the law, and ultimately resulted in contemplation of suicide for three years.

Once he hit rock bottom, Jimmy put the bottle down, suffered through the withdrawals of addiction and a short time later, American Fishing Charters was started. He founded American Fishing Charters because in his darkest hours, fishing is what kept him alive. The only thing that kept him from making the ultimate selfish decision of suicide was watching people catch fish as he worked as a mate on a local charter boat. As he ran more charters he saw that fishing had the same peaceful effect on other veterans as it did on himself. Jimmy was tired of all the “awareness” being raised about PTSD with no solutions taking place. And that is how Knot Lucky was founded.

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All donations go directly to fund fishing trips and other support for veterans.

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