Fall hunt aims to help wounded warriors
Andrew Weissenberger, military veteran, sits in a new track chair next to one of the new hydraulic elevated tree stands Aug. 24. The new equipment was purchased by outdoor recreation to help wounded warriors hunt with funds that were raised from last year's Wounded Warrior Hunt.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 4, 2012) -- Always looking for ways to honor and help the Soldiers and Families of the Army, Fort Rucker is doing its part to make sure that wounded warriors are taken care of when it comes to outdoor recreation.

The 2012 Wounded Warrior Fall Hunt will be from Oct 20-27 and give wounded warriors as well as Soldiers and civilians the opportunity to hunt deer, turkeys and hogs to win prizes and help out a worthy cause, said Mark Yoakum, outdoor recreation assistant business manager.

"This is an opportunity for [Fort Rucker] to provide an activity for the wounded warriors, it's a special event that outdoor recreation does for them," said Yoakum. "It's a chance to get the wounded warriors on the installation out for a hunt, but also to showcase to them what we have here [at Lake Tholocco] to offer them."

The seven-day hunt will take place throughout the various hunting areas on Fort Rucker and the event is open to the public.

There will be no registration fee for wounded warriors, but for the general public registration is $25 and can be done at outdoor recreation. Those that wish to participate in the hunt must be at least 16 years of age with a hunter's education card, Alabama state hunting license, Fort Rucker post hunting permit and have their weapons registered with the Provost Marshal Office.

All of the proceeds from the Wounded Warrior Hunt will go directly back into outdoor recreation to fund programs or equipment for wounded warriors, said Yoakum.

There will be different winners for biggest deer, turkey and hog, as well as door prizes that will be given away on the final day of the hunt beginning at 11 a.m.

People don't have to participate in the hunt to be eligible for door prizes, said Yoakum, and they can purchase tickets for $5 at the Outdoor Recreation Service Center, Leisure Travel Services in Bldg. 5700, and any Coffee Zone at The Landing, Lyster Army Health Clinic or Bldg. 5700.

Prizes will range from hunting equipment, which people don't need to be present to win, to a Polaris EV LSV, which people must be present to win.

"Last year's hunt raised $40,000, which went directly into buying new equipment for the wounded warriors," said Yoakum, adding that all the funds raised during the event benefit Fort Rucker directly. "We bought the two elevated tree stands and the track chair to help wounded warriors hunt."

Yoakum said that they hope to match or do better than they did the previous year, but that the goal isn't completely about raising funds. The hunt is a good way to get wounded warriors involved in something physical and out of the house, he said, and the way to start is through their Families.

"In my opinion, a lot of wounded warriors can be reclusive, and I feel the way to get the wounded warrior outdoors is to reach out to the Family," said Yoakum. "Their Families also have to live with it every day and they're also paying a high price -- the Family feels it just as much."

Yoakum said the focus is to expand the wounded warrior programs on Fort Rucker to accommodate not only wounded warriors that hunt, but all wounded warriors.

"That's why we want an opportunity to be able to do things for wounded warriors," he continued. "We want to showcase what we've got out here at the lake. We don't really have a lot of programs [on Fort Rucker] for wounded warriors, but we're trying to change that. We're just trying to raise awareness for wounded warriors by expanding on the hunt and doing more things for them."

For more information, call 255-4305.

Page last updated Thu October 4th, 2012 at 11:32