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    2nd MLG company commander helps America’s heroes

    2nd MLG company commander helps America’s heroes

    Photo By Sgt. Danielle Rodrigues | A U.S. Marine (right center) poses with Dana White (left), President of mixed martial...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Devin Nichols 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -The America’s Heroes Enjoying Recreation Outdoors Foundation, A HERO, provides fellowship and mentoring opportunities through outdoor recreational activities.

    A HERO provides a supportive environment enabling veterans to continue the healing process, so they can focus on their future and reconcile the traumatic events of their past in a healthy and constructive environment.

    According to the National Veterans Foundation, current statistics reveal there are as many as 22 veteran suicides per day. This translates to approximately 8,030 a year, or more than 50,000 brave citizens who have taken their own lives since 2003.

    In 2009, after a couple of deployments and being injured and blown up by an improvised explosive device, Capt. Lee Stuckey, the commanding officer of Transportation and Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, almost took his own life.

    “It scared me because I was 30 years old and I didn’t know how it got to that point,” said Stuckey, a Shorter, Ala., native and Executive Director and Founder of A HERO Foundation. “Once I started talking about it, I came to the realization that I was having issues from two years of combat.

    “I started getting help and then Marines started to come up to me and tell me they have problems. I realized that I could be a person to go to because I understood what they were going through, since I was going through the same thing.”

    As a result, later that year, the non-profit organization called ‘A HERO Foundation’ was created. Military veterans and civilian volunteers came together with Stuckey to start the program.

    “The reactions and feedback you get from the service members when they reach out for help and experience one of the foundation’s trips is revitalizing,” said Stuckey. “You can see it on their face, after a three or four day experience of spending time with other veterans, eating the best southern cooking you could ever get, and having a great weekend meeting like-minded individuals who are going through similar experiences.

    “You can see the transformation when they start to understand, it’s an overwhelming experience when you can see a staff sergeant tear up because he doesn’t want to leave. That’s when you know you left your mark, and across the board I have never had one person have a bad experience. You can tell right away that so much has been lifted off of their shoulders.”

    These service members and veterans get to experience deer, turkey and big game hunting and fishing in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin and South Africa. Several service members have gotten the opportunity to go to an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight standing cage side while being treated like celebrities.

    “The first time we took 60 guys hunting on my farm,” said Stuckey. “It’s spread from just my place to hunting on 50,000 acres of land. In one month, we were using 20 individual’s farms and cabins, because the communities believe and fully support what we’re doing.”

    The incredible results from the program do not come from pestering questions or post-deployment assessments; it comes from brutal honesty …

    “I just tell them what I’ve been through and then they inherently start sharing their story. By the end of the trip we have identified what they’re going through and at that point I can tell that individual what different routes of counseling are available,” said Stuckey. “So I created a network of like-minded individuals who are going through similar issues due to combat related stress that now have direction on how they can get help.”

    Active-duty service members and veterans can reach out to A HERO Foundation’s website or be recommended by commands at or reach Capt. Stuckey at

    “Military leadership across the board is what makes the A HERO Foundation successful,” said Stuckey. “The individual’s leadership can go to the website, recommend these people for a trip, and we can help them and report back recommending specific counseling for the individual.

    “So if we have command involvement we will identify these people before they commit the ultimate mistake in life. I think the more proactive we are as leaders and the more involved we are will help identify the problem.”

    A HERO foundation at this time holds one event every two months. Stuckey is currently building a handicap accessible lodge to accommodate 10 veterans, wounded warriors and active-duty service members. This will allow the program to hold events at any time a trip is needed. He is also working with Auburn University to have students in the nursing program spend time with each veteran with post-traumatic stress syndrome, they will receive two college credits in helping identify the signs and symptoms.

    A hundred percent of donations to the A HERO Foundation go to supporting veterans. It’s a volunteer organization and there are no salary costs. To donate, sponsor a veteran or even suggest help, contact information is available at or Facebook.

    Future events:
    1. Jan. 5 – 8, A HERO Arkansas duck hunt
    2. March 28 – April 4, A HERO hunts with Medal of Honor Marine in South Africa
    3. May 9 – 11, A HERO turkey hunt in Shorter, Ala., and bass fishing in Eufala, Ala.
    4. May 9 – 11, A HERO turkey hunt in Kansas
    5. Aug., to be determined, A HERO deep sea fishing in Pensacola/ Orange Beach, Fla.
    6. Dec. 11 – 14, A HERO deer hunt in Shorter, Ala.



    Date Taken: 01.24.2014
    Date Posted: 01.24.2014 10:02
    Story ID: 119597
    Location: CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US 
    Hometown: SHORTER, AL, US

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    Downloads: 2