By Shelley Cohen,
The Purple Heart heroes arrived from Oregon, Virginia and Georgia for a muzzle load deer hunt, not knowing what to expect. Some had stayed disconnected from their military connections since their injuries. That all changed when they met up with WWIAF (Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation) DoubleCreek hosts Dennis Reynolds and Shelley Cohen and the incredible volunteer guides supporting this event.
Manny Moreton, Brooks Ingle, Jakob Trull, Jimmy Walker and Cody Romero all gave up their weekend to serve as volunteers along each of the heroes during the event. They shared not only time in the woods hunting, but also connecting during group meals where Game Warden Clint Newton joined them for a 4 a.m. breakfast.
Enduring life-long physical and emotional injury sustained during military action carries a burden not only for the hero, but for their families as well. These opportunities provided by WWIAF create a setting that encourages these Heroes to connect with other Purple Heart recipients who understand the impact of being a wounded warrior. At the same time, they also learn there is a community around them of public support coming from, not only the event volunteers, but also great donors such as the NRA Foundation, Highland Corporation and many people who donated food items, Kroger gift cards and cash toward event travel costs.
C & C Motorcycle and ATV Repair donated the use of a side-by-side ATV vehicle during the hunt. Each and every act of kindness, time, and generosity from the community is rewarded with ongoing success of these events now in their sixth year.
It is the love of the outdoors, sportsmanship and the need to connect with other warriors which is critical to the healing process. Whether it is traumatic brain injury, limb/back disability or post- traumatic stress disorder, or survivor’s guilt, these events bolster self-confidence while strengthening a bond with nature and others.
In 2019, a spring turkey hunt is being planned along with two deer hunts later in the year. If you are interested in donating or volunteering, please call Dennis Reynolds 615 969 1078.
A documentary featuring DoubleCreek and interviews with WWIA Purple Heart veterans who have benefited from these events is available for viewing at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5THSTdAK5LE.