RRAD hosts wounded heroes hunt
January 13, 2011
- Ft. Hood wounded warriors hunt for 3 days at RRAD
- RRAD volunteers and community members help to make event successful
RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, Texas -- In partnership with the Red River Rod and Gun Club, Red River Army Depot's Land Management Branch hosted the first RRAD Heroes Hunt on Dec. 28-30 for five members of the Warriors Transition Brigade, Ft. Hood, Texas.
The heroes attending the hunt were Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Burgin, Staff Sgt. Shad Fowler, Staff Sgt .Eric Madden, Staff Sgt. Richard Gallego Jr. and Staff Sgt. Andrew Eads.
Each Soldier was accompanied by a guide during the hunt. Guides for the event were Scott Van Zile, Dennis Kuykendall, Tony Cole, Glenn Cason and Charles Downs.
Following a light lunch the first day, the heroes were taken to the Rifle range to become familiar with their weapons.
"Someone commented that it wasn't so much about killing a deer but about escaping real life situations, being able to relax and seeing that others care about them," said Mike Foster, RRAD forester. "One hunter has survived 39 IED attacks and has received three purple hearts. When you think about that it brings the whole event into a new perspective."
Although they will all not be a part of the military by next hunting season, all the participants plan to return for the hunt next year, said Foster.
During the three day hunt, the Soldiers enjoyed residing in the cabins at Elliott Lake, provided by RRAD's Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Foster said the all the Soldiers commented that they slept better on the hunting trip than they had slept in months.
RRAD Commander Col. Daniel G. Mitchell welcomed the heroes during a barbeque dinner.
Volunteers helped to prepare the meals for all Soldiers and guides. Volunteers for the event were Larry Knight, Janice Knight, Bennie Murray, Bill Thomas, Billy Bridges, Jerry Shelton and Charles Weatherford.
"Without the support of all those volunteers this opportunity to support the wounded warriors and enrich RRAD's hunting program would not have happened," said Van Zile, RRAD antiterrorism/force protection officer.
Several deer and hogs were harvested during the duration of the hunt.
"This was our first endeavor to conduct a wounded warrior hunt, but those that volunteered and/or participated agreed that the program needs to continue and grow," said Van Zile. "Events like this help them transition back into the military and civilian sectors. They all enjoyed their time here."