Helping Military Families Heal
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I just wanted to share mine and my family’s appreciation and to say thank you for supporting the Sportsman’s Foundation for Military Families and Okeechobee Outfitters. My brother and I just finished up a great trip out there and had a fantastic time hunting. He made the trip down from Montana and we drove down from where I’m stationed at in FT Campbell, KY.
We had some good bonding time! We both harvested real nice boars (176lbs,190lbs), and got to sit in on an alligator hunt with another hunter. Watching those hogs plow through the brush and pulling up an 11ft 4in Florida alligator had all the blood pumping. The trip was also special as it was my first bow kill, first hog, and first time up close and personal with an alligator. Definitely some memories I will cherish and hold on to for a lifetime.
It is people like yourselves that made this possible and I sincerely appreciate you both for everything you do for soldiers like myself and their families. I look forward to sharing this experience with other service members and hope they get the same opportunity.
I wanted to take a moment and let each of you know how thankful my wife and I were to be able to travel to Florida and enjoy the experience of a lifetime. I know this letter is a little late but life tends to happen sometimes, right?
I figured it would only be appropriate to tell you a little bit about us. My wife and I have been married now for a little over 4 years and we enjoy spending time with each other outdoors, specifically fishing and hunting. That has always been a huge passion of mine but it has more recently become a hobby of hers too, mainly because she likes spending time with me. I spent a little over 8 years in the United States Marine Corps and deployed multiple times to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Japan so I had a rather fun filled experience. After I finished my obligation to the Marine Corps I served another 2.5 years in Afghanistan as a contractor. The reason I mention all of this is because it seems as though I have missed hunting season for many years and it is almost therapeutic in the sense that it really helps me reflect on life and myself. When I was selected to participate in your event I was ecstatic and I literally talked about it until my wife told me she didn’t want to hear anything else until we arrived in Florida.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Danny and Carla were great hosts and everyone who helped from the cook to the guides were extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. They always went the extra mile to ensure we were satisfied. Although we weren’t able to harvest any animals we were presented with plenty of opportunities and time seemed to fly while we were there because it is a true sportsman’s paradise. I believe this trip has made a life time hunter out of my wife and it was truly amazing to be able to sit in a stand with her and see all of the wildlife. We have talked about this hunt non-stop since we have returned to North Carolina. Oh and did I mention that even though we didn’t harvest anything, one of the regular members donated not 1 but 2 hogs to my wife and I. Upon our return we were able to turn those hogs into sausage and it has truly been a blessing because the wild hog meat is second to none. I’m sure by now this email is getting rather long but both my wife and I want to express our gratitude and hopefully we will be able to return one day and have a similar experience. Thank you for your time and most of all thank you for this wonderful trip. May God bless each and every one of you!
William & Trica Barber
I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Drasner, Mr. and Mrs Masciarella, Mr. Dallenback, Mr. Harrison, Mr. McGraw, Mr. Blake, and Mr. Collins for your generous donations that make these adventures possible.
From the first moment we arrived at Okeechobee Outfitters I felt at ease and welcome. The cabins are beautifully decorated and extremely comfortable. Sharing breakfast and dinner each day made for a family atmosphere and it was a great way to start and finish the hunt. Danny and Carla are very kind, thoughtful, and I really enjoyed talking with both of them. Keith and KC were knowledgeable, fun to work with, and made the trip extra special by taking us to see the area and experience the wildlife.
I truly enjoyed the atmosphere and getting to spend time relaxing in the stand. I had a successful hunt and was able to stock my freezer with some great meat. We have a tradition in our house of naming each harvest as we process it. The best part is knowing the animal we are preparing and enables me to tell my girls the story of each hunt and to thank God for a successful hunt and nourishment.
Thank you for your kindness, support, and dedication to our military and our families.
(US Army Veteran & Gold Star spouse)
Gold Star Spouse
I wanted to take the time to write you about the hunt my family enjoyed at Okeechobee Outfitters. I applied last summer for a hunt and was granted a hunt for my son in law and three grandchildren, Brian Magyar and his sons, Blake, Devin and Tanner.All of them have some hunting experience but little. I have hunted all my life all over North America and have experienced many outfitters. I have to say that the staff at Okeechobee are one of the most professional and friendly persons I have ever met. They are Christian acclaimed people as well which means a lot to me. Because of the environment the outfitters created during our hunt, my son in law and grandsons had a hunt of their lives. The hunt created memories they will remember for years to come. I am grateful to you for your support of the Okeechobee Outfitters. Without you, this former Marine and Vietnam Combat Vet would not have been able to create memories for me and my son in law and grandchildren.
Paul W. Converse
920 Catfish Creek Road
Lake Placid, Florida 33852
Thanks to all of you for supporting The Sportsman’s Foundation for Military Families. Upon return from my deployment to Afghanistan I was blessed with an opportunity to take my family to Florida and hunt for hogs, alligator and exotics. We had never hunted together as a family so this was truly a unique and valuable experience. My wife was able to shoot her first wild hog and I blew a chance on a nice alligator. My two girls loved spending time with us
in the woods and playing around the lodge. As a veteran of 21 years and three combat tours, I want to say thank you for this experience! We still talk about our trip to Florida and maintain contact with Danny and Carla. They are some of the best hosts I have ever had the privilege to visit and their dedication to their foundation is remarkable.
Thanks again for the support you give and the memories you help make. It is awesome that we live in a country where individuals, such as yourselves, give so freely to support the military. I am scheduled to return to Afghanistan next fall and you can bet my pictures from my time with The Sportsman’s Foundation will be with me. Attached is a picture of my beautiful wife, Priscilla, returning from her hog hunt and a picture of me and my littlest girl, Leila, riding around looking for hogs.
S3 AIR, 1-121 IN