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    MCAS Beaufort, TBR host Paralyzed Veterans of America deer hunt

    MCAS Beaufort, TBR host Paralyzed Veterans of America deer hunt

    Photo By Sgt. Ashley Phillips | Jack Barber inspects the rack on the deer he harvested during the annual Paralyzed...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Ashley Phillips 

    Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

    Townsend Bombing Range personnel hosted a Paralyzed Veterans of America deer hunt aboard the inert bombing range in honor of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 9. The annual deer hunt is held and organized at TBR to honor our veterans who have served and paid a high price in service to this country.

    Townsend Bombing Range is an air-to-ground inert (meaning non-exploding) missile range located 82 miles southwest of MCAS Beaufort and is used as the east coast’s premier range. Though MCAS Beaufort owns and operates it, it is an asset for every service used for training operations. Throughout the year MCAS Beaufort opens it to the public and to the Paralyzed Veterans of America to allow hunters to hunt and promote a strong relationship with our base, veterans, and local communities.

    “We’ve been doing this hunt for the last 6 to 7 years,” said Jack Barber, a paralyzed veteran and West, Texas resident. “My wife [Diane] and I take a road trip doing various fishing and hunting tournaments and then end here where we do a hunt with our fellow veterans and friends.”
    Similar to Jack, many of the hunters and families stayed overnight and camped on the range in tents and campers. This makes it easier to wake up early to set up before dawn in the hunting blinds but is also a great opportunity to share a meal and good conversation with each other, many of whom have returned every year and have become good friends through this hunt.

    “This hunt has been going for 15 years,” said Eddie Reese, the TBR forester. “We have continued this tradition since taking the range over. This is so important because it’s a huge public outreach and it’s something we want to expand. We have grown from a 5,000 acre range to 33,000 acres and we can allow more hunters that can’t go hunt by themselves.”

    The TBR team set up blinds for 13 hunters in different sections of the range. Each hunter had a radio and when they were ready to come in or had a deer they would radio in and the team would roll out to their blind and pick them up and the deer they had harvested. They also had a skinning rack set up so the hunters could skin their deer.

    “From an environmental standpoint, this also helps us because we need to take some of the deer out of the herd to make sure it’s healthy,” said Reese. “Last year we harvested 33 deer so any deer we harvest is a benefit to the herd.”

    “Without the guys here at the range and the support it wouldn’t be possible to put on such a hunt for the veterans,” Barber said. “They take such good care of us, providing anything you could need or want. It’s unreal [being back around veterans]. This veterans day hunt is so significant because veterans from my time weren’t thought a lot of and being around veterans that were in the same war as me and the younger generation as well, it’s really great.”

    Barber, a Vietnam veteran who served 22 and a half years in the Army, went on to explain how impactful it was for him to be around veterans from multiple generations. For him the amount of care and respect given to veterans after Dessert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom is a comfort. This is another reason why MCAS Beaufort will continue to host events like this at TBR and honor our veterans.

    “It’s nice seeing the veterans get together and joke around; a lot of them don’t see each other but once a year, here,” Reese said. “They travel from all over and it’s a way for the Marine Corps to give back to the veterans that have served.”



    Date Taken: 11.09.2019
    Date Posted: 11.15.2019 12:32
    Story ID: 351919
    Location: BEAUFORT, SC, US 

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