The Warrior Bonfire Project kicked off 2015 with a successful outing to Valley Park Plantation in Mississippi. Rapidly becoming one of our yearly events, our combat wounded heroes enjoyed five hunts during the weekend, with our primary focus being to allow our men to relax, enjoy camaraderie, and develop bonds with new friends. Our mission is to provide an experience that is all inclusive and offers an environment virtually free of stress. Nik Oekerman, from Indianapolis, IN., who has been charged in the past with vetting organization services like ours, told us “I have been on many outings or events similar to WBP’s but by far this is the best one I have ever attended!” We pride ourselves in being simple and straightforward, while offering some excitement. The bonding around the hunts, meals, down time and bonfire are what makes it all so powerful.
Situated in the Mississippi Delta near the site of the historic Teddy Roosevelt “Teddy Bear” story, our guests enjoyed the comforts of a newly built lodge that offers the ultimate relaxation environment after their morning and evening hunts. After hours of soaking in the serenity and thrill of the hunt, our warriors were met with the smells of down home cooking prepared by the plantations private chef... Where there is good food, there is good conversation.
The hunts themselves couldn't have been more successful! Each of our warriors as expected, made their shots and were sent home with a new ice chest full of venison for their families, memories and healing. Most of us take this all for granted but getting them behind the barrel and feeling in control is priceless.
This hunt encompassed a treat with the attendance of special guests, Ted DeBiase “The Million Dollar Man of WWF, and Ted, Jr. also a WWF wrestler for more than 8 years. These men were “blown away” by our wounded heroes and their stories, and likewise for our veterans. The DeBiases’ have seen firsthand the camaraderie that we seek to achieve and believe the WBP provides a valuable service. Also in attendance was, Jim Peters who is the subject of a future film about his ministry for wounded heroes at Walter Reed Hospital and others across the country. The opportunity that our guest had to contribute to the understanding of their struggles will prove to be powerful indeed for the masses! Special visits from Major General Mike Wehr of the US Army Corps of Engineers and other local friends offered a slightly different environment for this trip than normal but what we have found, this only enhances the experience and bridges the gap of understanding of the importance and needs of organizations serving our military. Although the hunt included various attendees the Bonfire did not. The Bonfire is always kept to be a sacred and safe place for only our attending veterans. It is here that incredible healing continues and the control of their journey forms a stronger foundation.
We thank all our friends of the bonfire that help make these private, top notch hunts, the best they can possibly be and encourage those that would like to help us provide more hunts like this one, to contact us by clicking here. The image of how we treat our veterans, resonates in the minds of those considering to serve, and those individuals may ultimately be the ones that keep us out of harms’ way. Think about it!
Photos from the hunt.
WBP Team writers
Blogs are written by staff members of the Warrior Bonfire Program along with guest writers.