Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) recently completed a successful 3-day hunt with a paraplegic Marine and his proud father (also a former Marine) – a twosome that had not been in the field together for over 9 years since the former suffered severe lower body and spinal injuries in an IED attack near the Syrian border in Iraq. The pair, who had hunted together since the son was a young boy, were guests of the Upper Canyon Outfitters lodge and HAVA sponsor Proof Research for a bull elk and whitetail deer hunt. This was their first hunt since the combat injury had taken away the warrior’s mobility. HAVA personnel arranged the hunt and attended to assure all needs were met and to manage any unforeseen difficulties. Father and son also found time to get in some fishing, another outdoor activity that they had previously enjoyed together.
“HAVA sponsors made this hunting reunion of a man and his injured son possible and created a memory for this wounded warrior which may never be replicated,” said HAVA Chairman Tom Taylor. “Our increasing focus on the family unit as the key to warrior recovery certainly touched this Idaho family, and it expands the delivery of our warrior-support services to all the related people who have also suffered due to catastrophic injury. Our first duty is to the wounded warrior, but to integrate his or her family into the equation gives our work lasting benefits. Injured warriors such as this may always be incapacitated, but to see that they can still share outdoor sports with those that they love can be life-altering as they strive to rebuild their confidence for the future.”
HAVA conducts an ever increasing series of family shooting events with hundreds of participants each, and hosts hunts in a dozen states – many of which include an immediate family member to share in the wounded warrior’s joy.
“Family is the element that gives the wounded warrior a realistic opportunity to maximize his or her potential. If we can be the catalyst to raise the confidence of the warrior and his support unit; then we have helped to deliver on America’s promise to these injured heroes,” added Taylor.
Image courtesy Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA)