Purple Heart Veteran Tim Bell about jumped out of his chair when he was awarded a three day excursion to Tara Wildlife, the well known premier hunting destination in Mississippi. The Warrior Bonfire Program was given the package to award one of our Mississippi Purple Heart Members, by a group of nursing students from Hinds Community College. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program, raised funds and donations to put a great weekend together for Bell and his wife. As part of the colleges Communtiy Service Outreach Program, DMS Program Director Lesa Wilson and her students have taken the Bonfire under it's wing. Not only in orchestrating this event, these students have volunteered and raised awareness throughout the year.
When Wilson approached Gilbert Rose, the President/Executive Director of Tara Wildlife, about wanting to raise funds to support a couple days of hunting for one of our veterans, he immediately offered to provide free of charge, a three day all inclusive hunt package for the veteran and his wife. Just as graciously, Mr. Andy Vanlandingham representing Nelson Golf Cars of Jackson, MS provided the use of a "Bad Boy Buggy" free of charge for the entire hunt. In addition, the DMS program raised $300 to purchase a gift card from Bass Pro Shop for Tim to have all he needed to prepare for the hunt. The total package was over a $4,000 value!
,When we told Bell of his opportunity, he exclaimed, "this is a once in a lifetime thing for me. I have never gotten to go to a place like Tara!" He was incredibly grateful for the gift and wrote a thank you letter to the students for their work and donation. Upon Bell's return he reported, " There was great food, it was relaxing, and saw lots of deer, however I didn't kill anything. The weather was not the best, rain and warm. Did get to see some deer though. Just having that opportunity was awesome. At any moment the big boy could have stepped out!"
Bell was injured in two separate events while fighting the War on Terror in Irag. In 2009 his platoon was attacked by small arms fire, sniper fire and grenades, taking shots to his left hand, right shoulder and suffered a concussion. Again, in 2010 his truck was hit by a RPG7 causing another concussion and separating his right shoulder. His fighting days in war came to an end, however, he continues to succeed in the daily battle of post war traumas. Bell stated, "I would not change one thing. I am proud and honored that I was able to go and serve. I am very thankful for the support that we receive from groups like this and the WBP and it truly means the world to me and my family."
The Warrior Bonfire Program Campfire Program matches veterans to small or individual opportunities and experiences that do not coincide with our signature 6 Purple Heart attending our Bonfire Adventure trips. If you have an opportunity to donate something of this nature to a veteran, we will offer it a veteran in our database in the area of the opportunity. Please fill out our contact form if interested.