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18

It was a very special event at the annual Bear Crop Science and Graves Gin Cooperation pheasant hunt on March 17. This year’s host, Liberty Hills Outfitters have been holding pheasant hunts for nearly four years. Mostly they cater for corporate groups and small parties. Hunts are usually limited to about 200 birds.

This year’s hunt was attended by 20 hunters and about 150 birds were harvested during the event. One of the participants was veteran Sean Adams and his dog-in-training Kevin. Kevin is a service dog that helps Sean after he became disabled serving in the US military; he is also being trained as a hunting dog.

During the hunt, Kevin performed his secondary role perfectly, retrieving his first pheasant in professional style.

After a couple of hours of hunting, Adams shared his story to the hunters.

His story began when he realized he had three choices in life: college, finding work in a struggling economy or joining the military. After years of seeing his father work three jobs, he decided his best option was joining the Marine Corp. He had planned to make a 20 year career out his enlistment.

However, his ambition was cut short. At 19 he was chosen for a mission in Afghanistan to push the Taliban away from a river being used for weapons transport. The initial mission phases went well with the group of military soldiers, including Navy Seals and Green Berets pushing the Taliban back about 60 miles.

Then they ran into trouble and had to move fast. They knew there were IEDs in the area and so were trying to be careful, but in the hasty escape from a potential large assault, he stepped on something he described as a five quart jug and it exploded. He lost both legs and was blinded on one side.

He was quickly rushed to Germany for medical treatment. After 20 months rehabilitation, he returned home and, after some initial struggles, has started to find his old hobbies again – including cars and hunting.

Adams is the only veteran to be taken on hunts and it is hoped he won’t be the last as communities give back to those who have sacrificed so much for their country.

Have you helped a wounded warrior? What do you think can be done to support these individuals in their hunting exploits?

Let us know in the comments below.

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