Private hunt provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for veterans
SAFFORD, Ala. (Feb. 26, 2018) – Thanks to Buckmasters and the national nonprofit Hope For The Warriors and its Outdoor Adventures program, two combat wounded veterans recently participated in a once-in-a-lifetime, three-day deer hunt.
For the fifth year, Buckmasters invited two Hope For The Warriors Outdoors Adventures-supported military members to join its 26th annual Buckmasters Life Hunt.
Generally reserved for children and young adults with critical illnesses and diseases, Buckmasters worked alongside Hope For The Warriors to include wounded veterans in the three-day deer hunt at Sedgefields Plantation.
“We continue to enjoy our great partnership with Hope For The Warriors,” said Jackie Bushman, CEO of Buckmasters LTD. “What a great organization for an even greater cause. It is such an awesome privilege to give back to the men and women in our armed services. They assure us the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States of America.
“Being able to see the smiles on the faces of these military members when they get a buck is priceless. We look forward to many more Life Hunt Classic events with Hope For The Warriors as one of our partners,” added Bushman.
Hope For The Warriors’ Outdoor Adventures program provides adaptive opportunities for wounded heroes to participate in sporting activities in the great outdoors. Service members, who previously embraced an outdoors lifestyle, as well as those new to traditional outdoor sports, are introduced to recreational opportunities on the road to recovery.
Army Master Sergeant veteran Patrick Julian and Marine Sergeant veteran Will Hampton are experienced hunters who each bagged a buck on the trip, but enjoyed more than just the hunting.
“Showing up to camp was like showing up late to a family reunion,” said Hampton, who is from Washington State. “All of your distant family re-introduces themselves and from there its catching up around the fire listening to the stories you missed while away. But the main feeling is you just came home.
“In the blind we talk like family, poked fun at each other, ran ideas and talked life,” added Hampton.
Getting his first buck in 20 years, Indiana-based Julian enjoyed the experience and praised the guides who led the hunts.
“I had the best time at the Buckmasters Life Hunt. Since being injured, the guides were especially helpful along with all the super friendly staff. Thanks to all for providing me with this chance of a lifetime.”
In addition to the hunt, both gentlemen were VIP guests at the August Buckmasters Expo where they received custom engraved knives and learned they would be participating in the hunt.
“Thanks to Jackie Bushman, Mr. Hinton and the guides, this hunt is one of the highlight events for Hope For The Warriors service members,” stated Hope For The Warriors Director of Outdoor Adventures and Marine veteran, Ken Sutherby. “The veterans are greeted with genuine appreciation from the entire staff, celebrities and volunteers. The guides work tirelessly to get the veterans on the besting hunting areas making sure every guest’s hunt is successful.
“Along with the veterans, there are children with life threatening medical conditions on the hunt. I have yet to see a group of veterans that were not impacted by these younger hunters. I believe the veterans get more satisfaction out of watching the children succeed than through their own success,” added Sutherby.
Hope For The Warriors created the Outdoor Adventures Program in 2010 to provide adaptive opportunities for wounded heroes to participate in sporting activities in the great outdoors. In 2012, the organization recognized the therapeutic benefits for the family members and expanded the program to include spouses and children of wounded and fallen service members.
For more information on the Hope For The Warriors Outdoor Adventures program, visithopeforthewarriors.org/sports-recreation/outdoor-adventures/ or hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook or Twitter.
For more photos, visit: http://bit.ly/2nwr8s7
About Hope For The Warriors:
Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served more than 19,000 through a variety of support programs focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connections to community resources. The nonprofit’s first program, A Warrior’s Wish, has granted 180 wishes to fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of more than 23,500 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook orTwitter.