Fisherman and founder of Purple Heart Anglers – 2014
Randy Houston, a rebel outsider who has refused help from corporations, is the founder and president of Purple Heart Anglers, a group of volunteers who have taken more than 1,000 disabled veterans into the outdoors to fish or hunt. Houston required that Purple Heart Anglers be non-profit, non-political and non-ego, and exist only to support disabled vets for the therapeutic value of the outdoors. “We don’t take help from corporations (that want a commercial presence), so nothing interferes with the cause at hand,” he said. Hunting and fishing has been a lifetime of passion for Houston. Houston got his first hunting license at 9, his first buck at 12, and put a record in Boone & Crockett from a deer in Northern California. He has also fished “forever” and has ventured “everywhere, trying everything,” that is, lakes, streams, the bay, the delta, and up and down the coast, always looking for the best of California. In his office, he prizes a folded American flag, once flown in Afghanistan, which was presented to him by a group of vets from the F\5-159th Medevac Unit. Houston runs Purple Heart to honor his brother, a Purple Heart two-tour Vietnam vet who passed away from complications from exposure to Agent Orange.