I have heard before of the healing powers of the outdoors. That’s one of the reasons why after I was invited by Send-a-Vet to participate in the outdoor retreat I was elated at the chance to reconnect with the outdoors that I love so much. The last two years have been especially rough for me. I have been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Sad to say even as a vet who has seen many theaters of operations, this was the toughest battle that I had ever faced, and until I went on my hunt with Send-A-Vet, I had written myself off.
The trip was like someone breathed a breath of fresh life into me. I was hosted by the best group of guys you could wish for. A bear hunt was one of the things I had always wanted to do, and with my condition and other circumstances I had just come to accept that there are some things I probably would never do again. I grew up hunting and fishing and when I was invited to go on a bear hunt with Send-A-Vet, words can’t explain my happiness. This experience was truly so much more than a hunt for me. It was a healing adventure that lead to me meeting some stand up guys. I was at peace out there. A peace that I had never experienced before. Tears come to my eyes when I reflect back on my weekend. I was with good people, shared the long lost camaraderie of being with veterans doing something that I had a great love and a passion for and the icing on the cake was taking a beautiful chocolate coated black bear. This experience was a once in a lifetime experience.
Thank you Send a Vet. Rick, Mark and the rest of the people in the organization that made this happen for me, I can’t thank you enough or tell you how you changed what will be the rest of my life. You guys are true heroes, and thank YOU for your service to me and our veterans.
M.Sgt. US Air force (Retired)