The Patriot Warrior Foundation has been very active this year as we get ready for our big hunt and feed coming up January 10-12. Several of the local folks have been very busy preparing for this weekend, and we’ll go into that a little more later.
We started out this year’s activities supporting the Chamber’s Round Up weekend in July by providing several of our members as guests of honor for their parade and rodeo. Pam Armstrong has requested these veterans for the last few years, and they always have a great time.
In September, Ronnie and Jane Zesch hosted over forty wounded soldiers to their ranch for a three day dove hunt. Ronnie and Gary Johnson, John and Royce Haines, and several other Grossville natives put on a super show as these men and ladies harvested almost seven hundred dove on four local ranches. The food and entertainment was outstanding, and each veteran received a letter of appreciation from both President Bush and Governor Perry. A professional skeet/trap team set up a shooting range for competitive shooting and awarded a very nice shotgun to the top shooter.
Since deer season has started, we have been on three deer hunts locally. Our first one was on the James Keeton Ranch north of Junction, and was set up with the help of Scott McMillan. We had six hunters there, five of them all brand new, four of which were either single or double amputees. Great morale and great spirit was the norm, and James was a great host. We will go back there in February for another hunt.
Our second hunt was on the Hal Johnson Ranch in Menard County. He purchased it from Carol Kothmann, and we feel very fortunate to continue the program there we started with Carol. Hal hosted nine hunters in October for three days, and spent a lot of time in the field with us. We expect to go back after the regular season is over.
This past week, Logan and Steve Toone hosted five hunters north of Art. Their hunters did all the work, and allowed both buck and doe to be taken. These hunters were from the group that we first met at the dove hunt and we will have them back for the Big Hunt.
Stanley has had several hog hunts on ranches up around Weatherford and up towards Ft. Sill, from where he gets his hunters. He has his own support and logistics folks, and for a blind man, it is amazing what he accomplishes. He still works with me here, and is the president of the parent organization in San Antonio.
Back to the Big Hunt. Remember Friday the 10th of January at high noon, at the Eckert Civic Center. We may even start a little sooner, as soon as all the vets get there. All the sirloin, sausage, beans, potatoes, desserts, whatever one can eat. We trust the ladies of Mason will bring the sides and desserts as they always do.
The rifle is at the Mason Feed Store, so go buy a raffle ticket or 20. We don’t ask for your money—but we don’t turn it down. We will recognize the purchaser of the Country Collectible Topaz at the dinner, and by the way, they have donated another one for this year.
Jane Fowler and her ladies have been knitting hand-made caps for the veterans, and we have several donated items this year. One lady has quilted a registered Quilt of Valor to be donated to a soldier, but wishes to remain anonymous. We will have a rifle, some knives, binoculars, coolers, and more. In short, this is going to be the best of the Big Hunts we’ve had! Expecting thirty hunters. And as always, it’s a feel good thing. Be there.