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Aiming high: Fall hunt to help wounded warriors

Mark Yoakum, outdoor recreation facilities manager, drives “The Warrior” on Lake Tholocco with Tony Vilardo, a wounded warrior, last year. The wounded warrior boat was purchased using funds raised from the 2012 Wounded Warrior Hunt. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Mark Yoakum, outdoor recreation facilities manager, drives “The Warrior” on Lake Tholocco with Tony Vilardo, a wounded warrior, last year. The wounded warrior boat was purchased using funds raised from the 2012 Wounded Warrior Hunt. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: October 3, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 3, 2014) -- Fort Rucker is doing what it can to improve the quality of life for wounded warriors, and people are welcome to join in and do their part by participating in this year’s fall hunt to support those Soldiers.

The 2014 Wounded Warrior Fall Hunt will run Oct. 4-11, and give wounded warriors, as well as Soldiers and civilians, the opportunity to hunt hogs and coyotes to win prizes that will help out a worthy cause, said John Clancy, outdoor recreation manager.

“This is an opportunity for [Fort Rucker] to provide an activity for the wounded warriors,” said Clancy. “It’s a chance to get the wounded warriors on the installation out for a hunt and camaraderie, but also to showcase to them the type of handicap-accessible equipment available for them to use at any time and for no cost.”

This year’s hunt will kick off Oct. 4 at 3 a.m., and the seven-day event will take place throughout the various hunting areas on Fort Rucker. The event is open to the public, and there is no registration fee for wounded warriors, but for the general public registration is $25, which includes a door prize ticket and lunch.

Those who 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 Fort Rucker Provost Marshal Office.

There will be prizes given to the hunter with the most points for hogs and for coyotes – three points per hog and 15 points per coyote. There also will be door prizes given away to the person holding the winning ticket on the final day of the hunt.

People don’t have to hunt to contribute to the cause or be eligible for door prizes, said Clancy. People can donate and participate by purchasing door prize tickets for $5 at the outdoor recreation service center at Lake Tholocco, Bldg. 24235, or at MWR Central in Bldg. 5700.

Prizes include a 20-foot ladder stand, mirage ground blind, recliner, two Barnett crossbows, a Yeti cooler and more. Participants and those who purchased door prize tickets even have the chance to win a 14-foot Rhino boat, complete with an eight-horsepower motor and trailer. People must be present to win and door prizes will be awarded Oct. 11 during the conclusion of the hunt at Lake Tholocco’s West Beach.

In previous years the hunt has raised tens of thousands of dollars to support wounded warriors on Fort Rucker, and that money has gone directly into buying new equipment for those wounded warriors, said Clancy.

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

After 2011’s hunt, which raised $40,890, Fort Rucker purchased two handicap-accessible elevated tree stands and a track chair, and after 2012’s hunt, which raised $35,322, a customized handicap accessible boat with features that include a ramp that allows a person in a wheelchair to directly roll onto the boat, specialized controls, remote control anchor, wheelchair locking system and other specialized features, along with a boat dock, accessories for the track chair and some support equipment for the upcoming hunts were purchased, said Clancy.

The goal for this year’s hunt is to combine the 2013 and 2014 contributions to go toward purchasing a 47-foot handicap travel trailer.

As much as the hunt is about raising funds for new equipment for wounded warriors, Clancy said it’s also about raising awareness of the sacrifices those Soldiers made for the freedoms people enjoy today.

For more information or to register, call 255-4305.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/135291/

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