CHINCOTEAGUE VA, The Freedom Hunters, based in Virginia Beach, and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge collaborated to host a deer hunt for some nineteen Wounded Warriors, over several days in mid November.
On Friday, the Wounded Warriors arrived at lodging arranged by the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, then they moved on to a safety briefing and orientation by the staff at the Refuge. In the evening they were treated to a beach party and bonfire by St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Parish. Volunteers from St. Andrew’s, the Freedom Hunters, Refuge Staff, and the American Legion supported this event.
On Saturday, the Wounded Warriors hunted on the Refuge followed by a reception hosted by the Sons of the American Legion Squadron. Each Warrior was presented an cooler containing a frozen turkey. The turkeys were donated by Sons of the American Legion Squadron 159, and the 18 extreme coolers were donated by the Wal-Mart stores in Pocomoke, Md. and Onley, Va. Also, the Am Vets Post and Auxiliary from Millsboro, DE presented a $1,000 check to the Freedom Hunters to support their Wounded Warrior hunts. American Legion Auxiliary Unit 159 and St. Andrew the Apostle Parish also presented donations. They then enjoyed a dinner buffet at Don’s Seafood Restaurant.
On Sunday the Chincoteague American Legion family hosted a dinner at the Post Home for the Wounded Warriors and the volunteers from all organizations supporting the hunt. Ice creams and gift cards was supplied by the Island Creamery. After dinner each of the Wounded Warriors, the Freedom Hunter staff, the planning committee and the volunteers from each of the supporting organizations were introduced. Freedom Hunters Project Coordinator LtCol Dan Thoele, USMC presented mementos to each supporting organization and planning committee member.
Wounded Warrior hunts continued on Monday and Tuesday. Tyson Foods, Temperanceville complex, provided outstanding support by cooking lunches during each of the hunt days as well as providing personnel to help walk through the woods to “push” the deer.
Credit for the outstanding success of this project goes to the Manager and Staff of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, the Chincoteague American Legion Post (Legionnaires, Sons, Auxiliary, and Riders), St Andrew Apostle Catholic Parish, Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, Tyson Foods, Don’s Seafood Restaurant, Island Creamery, Hampton Inn and Suites of Chincoteague Island, Seahawk Motel, the Freedom Hunters, the Wounded Warrior Project, and all the volunteers who spent countless hours in support.