What’s Going on Here?

Allison B. Hudson

WHAT IT IS? The wounded warrior program gives back to those who have sacrificed so much in the armed forces. The goal of the program is to re-introduce wounded soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen back into the woods, lakes, and swamplands.

Representative Mike Dykes presented Randy, Kenny, and Bill Smith a certificate of appreciation for their active participation in this program.

“When I was asked to be a part of this program, how could I say no,” said Randy Smith. “These men sacrifice their lives for our country.”

“It is supported through a network of volunteers who coordinate with private business owners and land owners to make the warriors return to the wild a memorable occasion,” sad Mike Dykes. “Whether the event is a hunting or fishing trip, or simply three or four days in the mountains out west riding horses with their spouse, we try to make a trip of a lifetime. They pay nothing, all they have to do is express a desire and the program will take care of the rest.”

Dykes adds that planning for one of these outings begins months in advance. Logistics, primarily transportation, is the key to success and by far the most challenging and costly.

Keep in mind; many of these warriors have had severe wounds such as loss of limbs or head trauma so there can be limitations to their abilities in the field.

That has to be factored into the equation for the event to be enjoyable as well as a memorable one. Additionally, you must take into account available medical facilities in case of emergency to include both air and ground transportation.

“Although the coordination of various events is rather difficult, it is nothing near the price these warriors have paid,” said Dykes. “The beauty of this program is that it is supported solely on volunteers who want to give back.”