An Honorably Discharged U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class who served 7 years in shipboard Damage Control participated in a Trophy Whitetail
Archery/Muzzleloader hunt in Bruceton TN, November 10-12, 2023.
She physically benefitted from “The ease of getting to the (elevated) stands was wonderful for someone with Limited Mobility.” Mentally she “felt welcomed, as a female that is a HUGE deal.” Emotionally she “felt safe, which is not something I feel often, especially in a group … and especially a group I just met... Having Jamie helped … having another female present but even when she was not around everyone was so wonderful my anxiety didn’t kick in once.”
Prior to the event she was concerned by her “PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and I’m about as out of shape as you can get… I have trouble leaving my house and interacting with people. This trip made me do both. I learned not everyone is a jerk. I found people willing to teach me and who made me feel okay just as I am.”
The hunt helped her with “Motivation, also understanding that my tribe is out there, and I will never find them sitting in my house.”
She learned “Good Ole Boys are, in fact, Good Ole Boys. I learned safe hunting practices from prep and target practices to safely handling a crossbow. I learned … just how important it is to take time with your shot. I learned that a lot of hunting has nothing to do with the shot but hearing the world wake up and go to bed … I also learned to find peace in the silence shared with another.”
To others thinking of participating “Don’t hesitate, just do it, especially if you are a female looking for a safe group to hunt with or learn to hunt from. B## and K## are above and beyond what I expected... David and Jamie are kind, patient and knowledgeable. Just say yes and you won’t regret it.”
An Honorably Discharged USAF Senior Airman, of 4 years’ service as a Communication Specialist attended a Whitetail Doe/Fawn management hunt in Sheridan WY.
Physically he “enjoyed the amount of physical exercise.” Mentally “This trip allowed me to get past the mental aspect of taking a big game animal.” Emotionally, he found “The camaraderie that this group allowed was exceptional. Everybody stayed positive regardless if mistakes were made and that allowed me to be more confident in myself”.
Prior to the hunt, “my biggest concerns … were hunting related. I am hard on myself when it comes to making the shot and the guidance from your team helped ease these concerns … Not one time did anyone say anything negative and when I said something negative it was quickly squashed and I was corrected with something positive.”
From this hunt he “learned how to skin and quarter a deer, stalk appropriately to make a good shot.” He learned the mental aspect of taking an animal … this was my first big game animal.”
To other Veterans and First responders thinking of participating he said “The camaraderie is exceptional, and you’ll learn a lot … The adventure was a top-notch experience and an all-around great time.”
A retired US Army, Sergeant First Class, Infantryman-Sniper of 20 years’ service participated in a Whitetail Doe/Fawn management hunt in Sheridan WY.
His Warriors and Heroes experience benefitted him, physically, as “The dynamics of the hunt involve(d) many opportunities to engage in physical stimulation. Keeping active allows the mind to focus. Mentally he has “always enjoyed hearing stories and experiences of other Vets and Heroes. I feel like I’m not alone and not the only person who has a story to tell.” Emotionally, “This experience has become my grounding event for the year. Really doesn’t matter if meat is in the fridge. What mattered was that my brothers and sisters are here for me. That they care and want to hear my story.”
He benefitted by the small group size. “Smaller groups seem to work more efficiently and there is a sense that more attention can be given by the mentor.”
Prior to the hunt he “Personally needed to slow down and relax the mind. I forget how much I needed to hang out with “The Men”. It was a relief to be around like-minded folks to talk to, to learn from and share experiences.”
The hunt helped him with “Moral support. I’m not the only one who thinks that this life is crazy as hell. Especially now! The amount of moral support provided here is more than I normally experience, wife excluded, in an entire year.”
“Thank you for allowing me to be myself and hear my story. Truly meant a lot to me to find others who have similar life experiences”.
To other Veterans and First Responders who are thinking of participating he said “Do it! Truly an honor to meet the staff and other participants from WHO. So many years of top-notch experience and leadership here. Everyone has your back and is willing to stop and take the time to listen.”
A retired Augusta, Maine Police Officer, of 18 years, and USMC Veteran, of 6 years, participated in a Southern Hog Control hunt in Dawson GA on April 21-23, 2023.
His WHO experience physically benefited him by “being outside in a T-shirt in April. Walking and getting exercise. The adrenaline rush and the blood flow.” Mental benefits included “Being around like-minded people. Being accepted into a group environment. Networking and camaraderie.” Emotional benefits were “Trigger therapy. Outdoor therapy. Hunting therapy was good for me emotionally due to issues taking place at home. Disconnecting from problems at home without worrying about potential future problems. In the moment of the hunt instead of the drama at home.”
Prior to the hunt he was concerned about his home issues. “Thank you for this Godsend of a trip. It is helping!”
The hunt helped him by “disconnecting from my internal home problems. Knowing that this organization took the time to invite me on this hunt. I live in Maine in a very rural area and deal with isolation issues.” WHO “provided me a trip that I have been dreaming about. Hunting is therapeutic for me … learning about the new technological advances we have for predator hunting has helped me advance my education in the hunting world … you are never too old to learn something new.”
He learned about “new technology, reinforcement of camaraderie and that there are still good people in this world.”
“I have seen death in combat. Death in my Police career. On November 5, 2006 my sister was murdered. I deal with PTSD accumulative effect. Thank you very much for this opportunity of a lifetime to hunt hogs at night in Georgia. I am very grateful for this hunt from the bottom of my heart. God Bless and Semper Fi.”
He would say to other Vets/First Responders “This organization cares. You are never too old to learn something new. Hunting and outdoor time is therapeutic.”
A Lieutenant Firefighter-EMT with 16 years’ service participated in a West Tennessee Rabbit Hunt, with Beagles.
The Lieutenant benefitted physically by the “Great workout, something needed by all First Responders. His mental benefit was a “Great relief of stress. The best part of the experience ... was not working and not thinking of work.” His emotional benefit was the “Camaraderie.” and making “friends for the rest of my life.”
Prior to his Warriors and Heroes Outdoors event he was concerned with “Working too many hours a week with no stress relief. Thinking about work while not at work.”
A 100% Medically Disabled /Retired Army Sergeant served 11 years as an Ammo Specialist and participated in a Spring Snow Goose hunt in Eastern Arkansas.
The Sergeant’s experience with Warriors and Heroes Outdoors “Lifted my spirits and gave me hope that I can love to hunt again. I’m a new fan of Snow Goose hunting.” The hunt benefitted him by helping “my social anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was not judged for my physical and mental limitations.”
Prior to participating in the hunt, he was concerned about his “social anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD and depression.” The “hunt helped me with my social anxiety by getting me out meeting new people and hunting when I wouldn’t have. I really had a great time.”
The Snow Goose hunt taught him “How to interact with people again and how to enjoy myself again … and how to be at peace in the outdoors again.”
To other Veterans and First Responders thinking of participating in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors event the Sergeant said “Do it! It was awesome and the people were great. It’s wonderful to be around other Vets who understand you.”
An Honorably Discharged Army Specialist, serving in Artillery for four years, attended a West Tennessee Whitetail Buck Cull/Management hunt.
His "spirit" benefited from the hunt knowing "there are people who care enough about Veterans to host these events. It "reminds me of the overwhelming support we received when I returned from Iraq 16 years ago. I would say that it's great to get out with fellow Veterans" and enjoy "the peaceful relaxation that I feel when hunting ... that "is unmatched by any other hobby that I've tried."
Prior to the hunt he related "Most Veterans have experiences and memories not wanted in the highlight reel, so to speak ... but then a group like this sets me up on this hunt and I get to see that there are still good people out there and a sense of hope is restored in me."
He learned "Regardless of the current state of affairs ... people do still appreciate our service ... Also as Veterans from generations ahead of me help younger Vets, it shows that I must do what I can for Veterans of our future generations ..."
To other Veterans and First Responders "I advise signing up to participate in all that you can .. as you participate know that lasting, positive memories are being made.
"Thanks to Warriors and Heroes for the opportunity to go on a great hunt. Enjoyment was had by all."
- Capt Peter Muellner - Montana deer hunt, Nov 1-4 2022
"Great hunt in a beautiful setting with extremely professional and knowlegable mentors. On behalf of Marine Corps veterans, I am very appreciative."
- Rich Palmershiem - Montana deer hunt, Nov 1-4 2022
An active duty USMC, LtCol/JAG Corps, of 22 years service attended a Southern Hog Control Hog Hunt.
He benefited from the hunt because "getting some steps in is always nice." The "mental escape is the best part! Laughter, sharing stories, sharing experiences all help reduce stress from work, family and combat demons." He was "happy to meet new folks and experience a new style of hunting." This hunt "made me reflective and grateful for how I've been blessed."
He stated the hunt helped him with "stress relief." He got "time to reflect with a group of fun, selfless men."
He learned "more about WHO, more about Southwest GA, a new style of hunting and a greater appreciation for the generosity of American patriots."
To other Vets and First Responders thinking of participating, "stop thinking about it and just do it; it will be well worth your time."
An Honorably Discharged, 6-year Army Veteran, Vehicle Mechanic, attended a South Texas Hunting Preserve, Pheasant, Chukar and Quail shoot.
He stated he benefitted from the “exercise” and “being mobile”. He enjoyed the fellowship and “Hanging around with a Battle Buddy from his time in the Army.”
Prior to the event he was concerned about people “who understand things that went on during active duty." The hunt helped “reconnect with friends” get a “break from basic life” and “do what I love.”
From the event he learned of a “large group of individuals that love to help and give back.” To other Vets/First Responders he would say “WHO is an
amazing organization, very caring and giving representatives. They want to see that you are having a great time in a safe, responsible, and respectful
environment with others who have dealt with the same struggles you may have faced.”
A retired Green Beret Master Sergeant, Silver Star, 3 Bronze Star and two Purple Heart awardee with 20 years’ service participated in a West Tennessee Whitetail Cull/Management Buck hunt. He benefitted from the hunt by “being in the outdoors, seeing all the animals, relaxing, great new friends". He appreciated the landowner who “has a big heart not only for the Warriors and Heroes, but also for the animals and the land.”
Before the hunt he was concerned “thinking the guys were going to ask about my stories and experiences in combat. I don’t like to tell stories. It was refreshing and relaxing to hear and talk about hunting, fishing, kids and families.”
He said the hunt helped him with “relaxing, refreshing, getting out in the woods, making new friends, seeing animals, good
chow, appreciating people who give back.”
He learned that “you can get out in the woods or field, and not kill something and still have a great time.” His guide “taught me many valuable lessons about hunting, life, what matters most and giving back to people, land and the animals.”
He would say to other Vets/First Responders “it’s an awesome opportunity to meet new friends with no stress and just chill.”
A Medically Retired, Army Sergeant, Engineer of 10 years’ service attended a Whitetail Buck Cull/Management hunt in West Tennessee.
The event benefited him as a break from “all the stresses of life and work. This was a great break for my body and mind.” Being in nature recharges him as a whole and he “doesn’t have a lot of places to do it.”
The hunt helped him realize it “was more about fellowship than the hunt. I really enjoyed that aspect and it helped me open up to strangers who became friends.”
He “learned to take a chance and meet new people.”
He would say to other Veterans and First Responders “if they are hesitant about new things and people that these people (W.H.0. and the Event Hosts) are great. Not too pushy and asking things I didn’t want to talk about, but just genuine people who care and want to give back.”
A retired USN Chief Petty Officer, Operations Specialist and Career Counselor with 20 years’ service attended a Rabbit and Squirrel hunt in West Tennessee.
He said the exercise and fellowship with other veterans and First Responders was a great way to relieve stress. Sharing stories with each other and the Event hosts provided “a great feeling of brotherhood”. He said he misses the daily interaction with other Veterans.
He appreciated the opportunity to build a new network of friends with the same interest in hunting.
He was able to “experience something different and learn different ways to hunt. This hunt opened me up to the available resources out there for Veterans.”
He said “this is a great opportunity to meet fellow veterans and do something exciting.”
An Active Firefighter/EMT/Inspector hunted Mule Deer on a Lewistown MT ranch.
He said the hunt provided a good physical challenge and a way to let go of “all of the things that bothered me.”
He learned patience and teamwork and improved his communication skills.
“This was one of the most positive and beneficial experiences” and allowed him to focus on himself for a brief period.
A USAF Pilot of 13 years’ service participated in a Whitetail/Pronghorn Antelope Doe/Fawn Hunt in Sheridan WY.
He enjoyed the physicality of the hunt citing “fresh air, good companions and wildlife” being “what every person needs for an emotional reset.”
He said the whole process of check-in and licensing is very smooth. The mentors expertly place the hunters on the ranch to ensure success and then make the meat processing educational and efficient.
He sharpened his marksmanship and hunting skills.
He is thankful for the dedication, hard work and long hours put in by the Warriors and Heroes mentors that made him feel more appreciated for his sacrifices.
An Honorably Discharged Army Corporal/Supply and Info Tech Specialist of 6 years’ service attended a Whitetail/Pronghorn Antelope Doe/Fawn Hunt in Sheridan WY.
She expressed gratitude for the opportunity to harvest venison and experience the camaraderie of being with WHO mentors and fellow hunters.
The Hunt helped her build stronger relationships with fellow vets and first responders and improve her hunting and marksmanship skills.
She was reminded that each person has their own battles and to be there for them when needed.
She recommends other Vets and First Responders participate in WHO events to gain new experiences and learn to let their guard down.
A retired Army Master sergeant, Special Ops Aircrewman, of 20 years service participated in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Whitetail Buck cull/management hunt in West Tennessee.
He wrote about the instant connection Veterans experience due to shared service and sacrifice. He wrote "That is extremely powerful in breaking down some barriers most Vets deal with on a daily basis." He said the friendships started at WHO events are "powerful, meaningful and healing. These types of events HEAL!"
He was especially appreciative of the event Hosts, their facility and camaraderie. He is "thankful for Americans that know the price most of us have paid and want to give back. They do what they can and have no idea of the true impact they make."
A medically discharged Army Staff Sergeant of 16 years service, who served as a Light Wheel Mechanic took part in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Turkey Hunt in West Tennessee.
He remarked that WHO staff made him feel welcome and eased the stress he felt prior to arrival. The Sergeant revealed he suffers from social anxiety in all situations. Sharing the hunt with other Veterans and being outdoors helped relieve the stress he normally feels.
As a novice Turkey hunter he appreciated the knowledge and helpfulness of the Event Host Guides. He stated that he looks forward to his next event with Warriors and Heroes Outdoors.
An Air Force Captain, of 9 years service, participated in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Turkey Hunt in West Tennessee.
He "felt humbled and grateful for the experience" He wrote the event brought "peace and calm", in particular, time in the outdoors surrounded by peers and hosts who gratefully honored his service. He was thankful to WHO for a "weekend that brought much needed rest and relaxation and the opportunity to be with brothers''. He appreciated the chance to "open up and talk about things we're not comfortable doing when we're with those that haven't been there."
A USAF Pilot, of 12 years service, took part in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Whitetail Buck cull/management hunt in West Tennessee.
He appreciated WHO's ability to plan, organize and execute a "spectacular hunt". He was especially impressed with the service provided by the Event Host Hunt Club.
The opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of fellow Veterans was a large portion of his overall satisfaction with the hunt. This Veteran has told his coworkers and other Veterans about Warriors and Heroes Outdoors and recommended they apply for future events
A Medically retired Army Infantry Captain, of 16 years’ service, participated in a Feral hog hunt in Western Georgia.
He was impressed that the WHO staff does not organize a hunt then send people out, alone, with an unknown guide. “They hunt with you, they get to know you, you get to know them, and you experience what a hunt should be.” He enjoyed the bonding resulting from just talking about everyone’s military backgrounds and different hunting experiences.
“Not only was it a successful hunt but there was a bonding between all of us and I consider all of these guys my friends and Brothers now. I hope to do more with WHO in the future and I recommend anyone who’s considering going with them to go.”
“I learned that there is a group of guys that want to just simply take us on a hunt, but they want to do something with us. And that was special.”
An active-duty Information Specialist (Nuclear Submarine), Petty Officer First Class with 11 years of service participated in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Feral Hog hunt in West Georgia.
He said he normally has problems relating to other people. Hunting with other Vets and a Firefighter “helped me get out of the house and actually hang out” with peers and “get a bit more sociable with others.” He stated the only bad part of the hunt was the drive back home because the hunt was ending.
He said he has been telling peers at work how much he enjoyed the hunt and recommended they apply for WHO hunts.
An Honorably and Medically discharged Army Staff Sergeant who served 9 years as a Tank Crewman and Cavalry Scout went on a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Fly-Fishing trip in the Montana Cabinet Mountains.
He enjoyed the calm, relaxing and stress-free atmosphere that helped ease effects of his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He wrote that he enjoyed learning to fish and “unplug”.
He commented that Warriors and Heroes Outdoors “is a great program with great people.”
A retired Army Captain of 22 years in Air Defense Artillery, and Purple Heart awardee, participated in a Warriors and Heroes Outdoors Fly-Fishing trip in the Montana Cabinet Mountains.
He commented the atmosphere was “very calming” and “allowed me to recharge my mental energy.” He enjoyed the chance to do more strenuous activity.
The Captain was in a serious car accident, 2 years prior, and hoped this trip would help relieve the “stress and fatigue related to the accident.”
He reported the trip did offer relaxation and the ability to “recharge from daily life challenges.” He stated “learned a better way to control my stress.”