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Tndeerhunter's picture
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Wonderful Celebration

 

    As someone who spent a good deal of my adult life in the military, I am always interested in knowing about those who are now protecting our great nation. My daughter had asked me several months ago if she might share some articles I'd written with a deployed servicemember whose wife was in her church group in Knoxville. I helped her gather some together and she sent them off in a care package for that young Marine who was deployed to Afghanistan.
 
 
As fate might have it that young man had the great misfortune of being severely injured in November '11 by an IED while serving our Nation on his deployment. He has spent months of rehab in Maryland at Bethesda Naval Hospital and has only recently returned back home to Knoxville. He is learning how to walk and run now with his new prosthesis and is doing remarkably well.
 

That church held a celebratory service this past Sunday that included a tribute to the U.S. with special emphasis on those who have served. There was a formal military presentation of colors which included members of the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force in the color guard. There was one other service member present, and in dress blues, Our young Marine.

 
 
There were several patriotic and spiritual songs performed by choir & orchestra and a taped 21 gun salute (done by two artillery pieces) as the rolls of the fallen from the surrounding counties there in east Tennessee was scrolling down the screens. Pretty moving stuff. Then the pastor mentioned that they had a special member of the congregation there this morning and then he introduced the young warrior to the congregation of nearly 2,000.

There was a several minutes long thunderous standing ovation as he slowly made his was up the stairs to face the huge congregation. He gave a wonderfully done, short speech and I'm sure there were few dry eyes listening to his mention of fellow Marines less fortunate than he. He received a second standing ovation as he returned slowly to his seat. As you might imagine that young Marine and his wife were swarmed by well-wishers at the end of the service.

 
 
I had been lucky enough to have been brought forward before the celebration started and just after the young Marine entered the sanctuary to be able to meet and speak with him for a few minutes. You see, we had already exchanged some emails between us as I wanted to let him know that I had been able to secure a special hunt for him to hunt Georgia hogs with us in a few months.

He is a big hunter, but due to his military service, he has not had a lot of opportunities in his young life. I am very grateful that the owner of the outfitting business we've hunted for several years stepped up and offered a free hunt to me, for our Marine friend. I also promised him that I would try and arrange a deer hunt for him this fall, previous to our trip to Georgia for hogs. I must admit that I admire his postive outlook, attitude and drive and I am lucky to have been able to have meet this fine young man and to also have the opportunity soon to hunt with him.

 

I thought this episode might be something to think about tomorrow as we celebrate our great Nation's Birthday. There are many more service members that could use an uplift, be sure of that. I understand that we have other holidays that celebrate our brave service members, both past & present, but I personally think that in these times we should keep them in our hearts and minds more often than a few holidays a year. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Ed

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A Wonderful Celebration Indeed!

 

Thanks for sharing your story and for your service to this great country.  May God Bless you and your marine friend.

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Thanks!

Retired2hunt wrote:

 

Thanks for sharing your story and for your service to this great country.  May God Bless you and your marine friend.

 

Thank you for your kind words. I thought you might also enjoy knowing that after hearing from a few Buddies, I have now also ordered our Marine a new rifle to give to him when we have our hunt together. Friends of mine from some other forums I frequent have pledged funds to help pay for the new Ruger Hawkeye in 30/06 we will be giving him. I also happen to have a Redfield 2-7x33 (NIB) that I can put on top to complete the set-up.

Thank you again for you thoughts!

Ed 

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Missed this thread Ed.  Very

Missed this thread Ed.  Very nice read.  Keep us updated on the hunt this fall!

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Arrived

Ca_Vermonster wrote:

Missed this thread Ed.  Very nice read.  Keep us updated on the hunt this fall!

Ca_Vermonster wrote:

Missed this thread Ed.  Very nice read.  Keep us updated on the hunt this fall!

Thanks Buddy! Just so happened the rifle arrived yesterday and it's now at my house waiting for a new scope (change on that) and for some custom loaded ammo to be made. Here's a pic; nice looking rifle, IMHO.

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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Nice.  What kind of scope are

Nice.  What kind of scope are you going to put on it?

Tndeerhunter's picture
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scope

Just yesterday, I ordered a Leupold VX2 3-9x40. I think it will make for a very versatile set-up for the young man and allow him to be able to hunt a lot of things in a lot of places. Thumbs up

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That sounds like a great gift

That sounds like a great gift for a homecoming.

That scope should serve him quite well for a long time. I have been using one for over 35 years now and every time that I think that something is wrong with the scope it proves me wrong and that it was just me that made the bad shot.

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That'll do nicely Ed!

That'll do nicely Ed!

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added pics

Scope arrived and has been mounted. I think it looks pretty darn nice! The matte finish on the rifle and rings matches the Leupold's matte finish very well, actually.

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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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That thing looks sweet!

That thing looks sweet!

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