On September 11, 2001, Private Daniel Waite was in boot camp at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was a day that would change the path of his military career. After boot camp, Private Waite was based in Hawaii with an Infantry Unit, 2-35 Cacti, that was gearing up for the Middle East. For the next three years, Waite readied up the best way he knew how - excelling at schools that would equip him for war. First, Ranger School, where he earned his Ranger Tab in July 2003. Next up Airborne School, earning him the elite title, Airborne Ranger. The next year was spent training for war, and in early 2004 Sgt. Waite deployed to Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, Sgt. Waite worked with his team to track down enemy targets in the mountain villages and cities of Afghanistan, completing dozens of successful missions in their year-long deployment.
Upon returning from Afghanistan, Sgt. Waite was honorably discharged from Active Duty, entering the Individual Ready Reserve, or IRR. He went to college, started a family, and made his best go at civilian life. All along he missed the military, with its' sense of purpose and brotherhood. In November 2006, Sgt. Waite was recalled to Active Duty. It was a relief for him, as he felt he was his best self as a soldier. In January 2007, Sgt. Waite deployed to Iraq, along with 14 other IRR soldiers, attached to a National Guard unit out of Arkansas to complete convoy security. While in Iraq, combat injuries sent Sgt. Waite to a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington, D.C. He spent his time there recovering from a TBI and PTSD and talking to other injured soldiers about hunting and fishing back in Maine. This is where the dream of Operation ReBoot Outdoors was born. Finally, 12 years after the dream began, Waite became a Registered Maine Guide and brought it to life in 2019 with the first official Missions getting underway.
Ken served in the United States Army until 2016, when he suffered life-altering injuries. Before finding Operation ReBoot Outdoors, he spent his days depressed, in and out of the hospital for severe mental health issues.
"If Dan at ReBoot didn’t reach out to me, I can truly say I would have been one of the 22." (22 Veterans take their lives each day in the United States) ReBoot Missions, pushing him to overcome his physical disabilities to get out in the woods again, have changed the way Ken looks at life.
"Just thinking about everything that I have done with ReBoot brings tears to my eyes. And it’s not just about my time with ReBoot; seeing all the veterans smile with joy and find life again and not give up, is the best feeling in the world."
Abraham J Bradeen
Abraham Bradeen, a.k.a. Polar Bear, grew up in the small town of Carthage, Maine. He graduated from Dirigo High School in 2001 and pursued a career at Irving Forest Products in Dixfield, Maine. Growing up, Abraham was exposed to the outdoors at a very young age. His father, a local logger, and several other mentors, showed him the woods and the water, and he's been there ever since. Abraham takes great pride in sharing the outdoors with others. Before Reboot, he often shared his time with anybody who wanted help. He has mentored several youths to be very successful in the woods and on the water over the years. Abraham’s favorite time of the year is moose season. He is one of the top moose callers in Maine and often competes in the yearly competition at the Maine Moose Lottery. Abraham shares his love for chasing moose, along with his brother, Sherman. Together there are like a finely tuned machine. They have put several hunters on bulls that push the 60 inch mark.
Abraham may not be a veteran but shares the Mission, and he looks forward to perusing his Fishing Guide License. He often says ReBoot has changed his life in many ways, realizing, "it is the simple things in life that matter the most”.