A hunting event in North Dakota is bringing together veterans to help them bond and heal.
Wounded Warriors in Action is a nonprofit that allows Purple Heart recipients to participate in outdoor sporting activities.
The fourth annual wild pheasant hunt was organized for Wounded Warriors in Action, or WWIA.
The annual event brings together veterans from all over.
WWIA Guide Gabriel Fierros is a Purple Heart recipient himself and has been on other hunting trips with the group.
He says he enjoys seeing the connections that are built in the hunting trips and it’s helped to heal other veterans.
“The purpose of these events are for them to reconnect with the community, to honor them, and it’s also healing,” said Fierros. “There’s lots of studies on the outdoors and the healing effect so that’s part of what we do here.”
Fierros says that the pheasant hunts are an important experience for those taking part.
“It gives them a chance to relax and reconnect with other veterans and share their experiences and share this beautiful country here in North Dakota with the community and get to see a different part of the state here,” said Fierros.
Roy McKenzie is one of the hosts for the hunt, and he says that he wanted the opportunity to honor those that serve our country.
“These veterans have sacrificed their lives and limbs for our freedom and it’s just a great way to bring ’em together,” said McKenzie.
Another host says the military influence in his family is strong.
“My father and several uncles were all in the military so we’ve grown up with the military instilled in our lives so it’s important to recognize their service,” said Bruce Schreiner.
Mckenzie says that the most important part of the hunt is the experience.
“It’s just about everybody being together, sharing stories, great food, great camaraderie, and that’s just what we try to do,” said McKenzie. “We just try to bring the guys in, let them have a great time, and enjoy this.”
Fierros also wants the warriors to benefit from the hunt.
“At the end of this, we hope they walk away a better person and more integrated.”
The pheasant hunt is from Oct. 21-25 in Garrison.