Thomas Grieb has a story that is just as good as any fisherman you’ll meet – maybe even better.  He describes fishing on Clear Lake in Medical Lake as his happy place.  He says he feels like he can do anything when he’s out on the water or in the mountains hunting.  This outdoorsman truly feels alive when he’s in nature.

It was a close call with death that made Thomas appreciate life on the lake even more.  He was paralyzed and seriously hurt in a crash on Highway 195.  Thomas was on a motorcycle and doesn’t remember hitting a vehicle entering onto 195.  He doesn’t remember being in a comma for weeks at the hospital. 

Once he came home, life looked much different.  He was confined to a walker and no longer had full use of his legs and arms.  He gives credit to his wife, Kathleen, who quit her job and became his caretaker.  Adapting to new life for the couple wasn’t easy and was compounded when Thomas suffered a stroke.

Eventually, a new normal emerged.  It’s different than before but it has evolved into a life of adventure.  Thanks to several programs that help people who are disabled and veterans.  Thomas credits those groups for helping him return to the outdoors.  He hunts and fishes and he does it with the help of his patient wife, Kathleen.

 

It’s a story that Thomas is happy to share because he wants other people with disabilities and other veterans to know they can choose to live how they want.  There are no limitations.  If you or someone you know would like to find resources that assist outdoorsman who are disabled and veterans, Thomas recommends reaching out to the following groups:

Northwest Sportsman Club: http://www.northwestsportsmansclub.com/index.pl?ac=nwsportsman

Hunting with Heroes: https://huntingwithheroes.org/

The Fallen Outdoors: https://thefallenoutdoors.com/

Mule Deer Foundation: https://muledeer.org/state/washington/

Spokane Gun Club: http://www.spokanegunclub.com/

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: https://www.rmef.org/