Hunt finale raises nearly $30K
November 1, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 1, 2012) -- The Wounded Warrior Hunt raised about $30,000, all of which will go directly back into outdoor recreation to fund programs or equipment for wounded warriors.
The hunt, which concluded Oct. 26 with drawings for door prizes, including an all-terrain vehicle, continues to grow each year, according to John Clancy, Department of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation outdoor recreation program manager, adding that more than 4,000 tickets were sold.
"This event gets bigger each year. I am glad for that because the event raises funds for the Soldiers and it gives us a chance to take these Soldiers out," said Clancy. "They have a good time, it is free for them, they get to meet new people and you can see the stress melt off of their faces."
The volunteers for the event also played a large part in the event's success.
"The volunteers sold tickets, took hunters out in the mornings and picked them up in the evenings, they went to dinner with the Soldiers and they helped with the overall camaraderie during the week. They really worked hard," said Clancy.
More Soldiers participated in this year's Wounded Warrior Hunt than ever before, according to Clancy.
"We had 18 Soldiers come from Fort Campbell, 12 local Alabama Soldiers and three Soldiers from Fort Rucker participate. We only had eight last year," he said.
There was food, vendors and a DFMWR helicopter on display at the finale. Around 200 people (and more than a dozen four-legged Family members) attended the event for the chance to win one of the many door prizes, which included gift certificates, tree stands, recliners and free stays at the Lake Tholocco cabins.
Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker Garrison commander, attended at the festivities and acknowledged the importance of recognizing and honoring wounded warriors.
"It's important that we don't forget what these guys have done for our country. Their service is invaluable," he said.
Several of the wounded warriors, including Staff Sgt. Mark Brosel, couldn't believe the support they received during the event.
"I used all of the special equipment. The deer stands made it so much easier to get up in the trees and the track chair is great, too, because I didn't have to walk all the way through the woods with my cane. It was very convenient," he said.
Brosel, who hunted each day, was injured three times during deployments. He was hit with a phosphorous mortar round, "blown up twice" taking shrapnel to the face and eyes, and he was shot in the back by a sniper.
"Fort Rucker and everyone here have been so helpful. I was picked up every morning, and even when I ordered a special bow and it didn't come in as planned, they got a special bow and brought it to me. Everyone has been so accommodating to my needs. I've been to a lot of posts and they don't do this kind of stuff for wounded warriors," he added.
The Soldiers took in more than double the amount of game than was taken last year.
"We didn't have any deer taken, but we did take 13 hogs and three turkeys. We caught some real pretty animals this year," said Clancy.
The Soldiers who participated in the hunt signed a 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles flag from Fort Campbell, Ky., where many of them hailed from, and presented it to DFMWR. It was a "Thank you," for hosting the event.
The Soldiers also recognized Clancy and the ODR staff for all the hard work and extra time they spent putting the event together and making sure each Soldier's needs where met. They presented him with a commemorative engraved Eagle to sit on his desk.
Clancy went over and beyond what he was required to do, according to the Soldiers, and the amount of time he spent putting the event together and the amount of hard work he put in was "ridiculous."