Fred Lewis is getting candid about what fans can expect in the upcoming season of “Gold Rush” and what inspires him to include veterans as part of his crew.
This season in particular was a struggle for Lewis, as there were a lot of unforeseen problems that arose that were out of their hands. He told Fox News Digital that this year had “a lot of battles” and that “it wasn’t just one thing” but that everything was “being thrown at (them).”
“We have a big supply chain issue, and we’re talking everything from big parts for heavy equipment to a small valve from the hardware store. Everything is complicated,” he explained. “This season, we had the border to Alaska open, so that gave us a little bit better supply. But still, the supply chain is really messed up right now.”
Another hardship was the availability and high cost of fuel this year. Lewis said the price was so unpredictable that unless you knew someone in the industry who could advise on the best time to buy fuel, “you could lose a lot of money.”
Fred Lewis gave fans some insight as to what they can expect this season on "Gold Rush."
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As a former Green Beret in the United States Army, Lewis is no stranger to hard work and manual labor. While he said the training process to becoming a Green Beret was extremely difficult, he admitted that working as a gold miner is harder.
“Gold mining is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s more along the lines of that I’ve started a business on national TV, I’ve brought in a group, my friends, that now rely on me for success, and I’m starting a new, whole new chapter. My life in gold mining,” Lewis said. “All those three things combined is by far the most complicated thing I’ve ever done, but I think it’s what I needed.”
Lewis revealed that one of the reasons he began working with other veterans and recruiting them to his gold mining crew is because he knew they would be the kind of people who would be able to handle that sort of work. In his opinion, it takes a specific kind of person to work as a gold miner.
“The reason I decided to start work with veterans in gold mining was because of the similarities of the military and a deployment for a mining season. It takes a little bit of enjoying the suck,” he said. “Everything is outside the box, and gold mining, there’s nothing that goes traditionally straight down the line and hits target…It takes someone that can work 80, 90-plus hours a week, sustained for six months and keep the mentality to not let everything defeat you.”
The “Gold Rush” star has always been involved with giving back to his community of veterans, and the positive feedback he received from veterans at the Invictus Games in 2022 inspired him to continue.
Lewis’ crew on "Gold Rush" comprises veterans whom he is committed to helping.
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At the games, he said veterans would come up to him, thanking him for his work, detailing one instance in which a veteran called him Robin Hood. He said helping vets was the reason he put himself on television, noting there is a bigger plan in place than just having them on TV.
“We want to make the gold mining successful,” Lewis explained. “Then we want to get to the point where we can invest the gold that we’re bringing in into entrepreneurs that want to start businesses, disabled vets, veterans, anybody, really anybody, that wants to help start a business. That was the plan the whole time I started this; I just haven’t gotten there yet.”
The instances in which vets come up to him and thank him for everything he does for the community are special to him, because he can remember “how it felt when (he) was transitioning” from the military back to civilian life, noting that if he had help he “would have done a lot better, but (he) was alone in that process.”
“I think I would also want to help set an example for other companies that are founded by veterans and how they could start helping vets in different ways, because I really feel like that’s something our country is missing,” he said.
Lewis detailed what it was like for him after leaving the military and not really knowing what he wanted to do with his life. He said he immediately went back to his roots and started teaching medicine while going to school.
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He soon had the urge to pursue something new and committed to teaching high-school biology before he eventually turned to web design. Lewis said he “was just trying to search and search,” doing “everything (he) could do to find (himself)” until he found gold on Parker’s trail.
Lewis hopes that viewers will get to see that the show really is their reality and is about the crew bonding and living their lives.
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“As soon as I saw it, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is something I can do.’ I also had been wanting to help vets for so long,” he said. “I also saw it helping other people. My transition led me here, but not by plan at all.”
Lewis hopes that through the show, audiences will get to know his crew and understand that they are real people living their real lives.
“Obviously, we want to show our gold rush, and it is about the gold because the gold has to pay for what we’re doing. But what we’re doing up there is we’re creating a bond between brothers and sisters that has been needed in our lives for a very long time,” he said. “I really hope that people understand how real this is to us and how much it means to us.”
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The new season of “Gold Rush” airs Fridays on Discovery Channel.