Soldiers in Fort Stewart’s Wounded Warriors Battalion spent a recent Saturday out hunting hogs and pheasants.
Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles said his department, the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division joined forces to take several soldiers from as far as Arizona and Utah hunting in Wayne County.
The sheriff said the idea for the hunt began two years ago with some deputies saying they wanted to do something for the Wounded Warrior Project. Planning for Saturday’s hunt started in December when he contacted the battalion.
Staff Sgt. James Payne, who is assigned to the battalion, said, “It’s amazing how nice everyone has been. The hospitality has been wonderful. We were put up in a great cabin and told to make ourselves at home.”
Wounded warrior Sfc.John Logan said he had a great time, killing two hogs and six pheasants. He, too, expressed gratitude.
“You can’t imagine the generosity we’ve seen,” Logan said. “Other hunters just saying, ‘Here, use my weapon, take this ammo,’ with no questions asked. People just letting others use their stuff. Also, the food has been great and the cabin was outstanding.”
Staff Sgt. Ron Zanders said, “The people have just opened up to us and told us all about their lives. They have made us all feel like family.”
Nobles said many volunteers made the day a success.
“I just want to thank everyone who helped, but I have to mention some by name, Palm Coast Utilities, Dr. Daniel Green, Smiley Bonding, Tri-County Bonding, the FBLA Club at Long County Middle School, the high school, Smiley Elementary, Walker and the Wayne County Board of Tourism, I appreciate especially what all of these groups and individuals did,” Nobles said.
After the hunt, the soldiers, sponsors and supporters were fed by the organizing groups.
Go to www.coastalcourier.com to see pictures from the day.