The shooting and hunting industry has done much to promote outdoor sports to America’s youth. They’ve introduced the cultural and heritage aspects of hunting and shooting to the leaders of tomorrow.
However, these bonding and motivating experiences are of equal interest to veterans of our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In some cases, the wounds of war are obvious, yet all veterans are affected. “Once overseas, the soldier that left is not the same man who returns,” says Wounded Warrior Colonel Kevin McMahon.
“We call them the invisible wounds of war whether they are psychological or back surgery, where you can’t see the scars,” he explains. “I think the previous idea of a wounded soldier was the amputee, especially from the Vietnam era. In today’s arena, because of the medical aspects of what’s known as ‘the golden hour,’ a lot more soldiers are staying alive due to the better body armor, the weapons systems, and the medical treatment.
“What we are seeing is that thousands more soldiers are alive today whether we are talking about shock, internal injuries, or post traumatic stress disorder, the services have developed methods to keep these soldiers alive and I don’t think American society is prepared to deal with that. I think the Wounded Warrior Project has taken up where other organizations have failed.
“We are not a drinking club; as a matter of fact, all of our events are non-alcoholic, and geared toward empowering the wounded warrior in today’s society and fully expecting that they will be around for many years to come. As a member of their national campaign team, I’m proud to say that they have picked up the ball and carried it so much further, that I don’t think they will ever be matched.”
The Wounded Warrior Project strives to include wounded veterans in all aspects of American life, including recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and shooting. In keeping with this mission, Nissan Corporation is launching a special version of the popular Titan truck that will include David Guzman and McMahon, yet any citizen can take the initiative to include a veteran friend in the activities they enjoy.
The first Afternoon of the Alaskan experience saw McMahon and Guzman breaking clay targets at The Grouse sporting clays range. Although each man had had extensive firearms training, this was their first time aiming at sporting clay targets. They enjoyed the experience and learned much form the Grouse’s experienced instructor, shown in the middle above.
For daily updates about their experiences in Alaska, go to NissanNews.com.