A group dedicated to helping wounded veterans take part in the tradition of hunting will host a hunt in Morehouse Parish in February.
Hunter for Heroes began after the group was sitting around a campfire talking about how blessed America is and how unfortunate it is that soldiers are placed in harm's way in order for the rest of the country to enjoy freedom.
The first chapter, which was based in Texas then began, and a hunt was held in Dec. 2012. Donnie Vocker, who would later become the president of Louisiana Hunters for Heroes, was invited to be one of the guides and helped two disabled vets collect buck deers.
"The time spent with these two men, watching their improvement, was very gratifying to me," Vocker said. "This inspired me to want to either host or assist in a disabled hunt."
Vocker and several others interested in beginning a Louisiana Chapter then filed for non-profit status under North American Hunters for Heroes, which was received in Sept., 2013.
Since its inception, LHH has been able to take 16 veterans hunting and have now scheduled a hunt at Chemin-A-Haut State Park for the weekend of Feb. 7.
"Our goal is to show them respect, honor, compassion and, above all, love for our fellow-man through the fellowship and the excitement hunters share on a hunt," Vocker continued. "Through this our hope is to assist in their successful re-integration into civilian life."
They are expecting 12 hunters from Fort Polk and Fort Sam Houston to make the trip and each will be assigned a guide, who will drive them around the hunting area and be there in case they need assistance.
"That few hours spent with a veteran can make someone you never knew into a life-long friend," Vocker said. "It also lets them know we care."
Lunch on Saturday will be provided by the Dutch Oven Society and the public is invited to attend, meet and talk with the veterans.
The community can show support for the hunt by becoming sponsors or donating money for other meals planned for the weekend.
"We have to have donations of hunting opportunities, but as everyone knows, nothing can be done without monetary contributions as well," said Vocker. "Your donation money is used exclusively to make sure each and every disabled veteran that hunts with us has a quality experience."
Each hunter will be staying in the cabins at the park and will be provided with a license, a gun and shells as well as meals for the weekend and a shirt and cap.
Anyone interested in being a sponsor or for more information can contact Vocker at 278.2902, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the website at www.lahuntersforheroes.wordpress.com.