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    Wounded Warrior Hunt and Hunt of a Lifetime at Letterkenny Army Depot build comradery

    Wounded Warrior Hunt and Hunt of a Lifetime at Letterkenny Army Depot build comradery

    Photo By Pam Goodhart | 211203-A-BS696-3966 CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. Elliot, 14, a Hunt of a Lifetime participant,...... read more read more



    Story by Dorie Heyer 

    Letterkenny Army Depot

    CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.--The Letterkenny Army Depot Natural Resources Office, in collaboration with the Letterkenny Munitions Center, hosted four veterans for the annual Wounded Warrior Hunt and two children for the Hunt of a Lifetime event, Dec. 2-3.

    “There are many Soldiers and veterans who have given much to our country. The annual LEAD Wounded Warrior Hunt provides an opportunity to reach out to these Soldiers and veterans to show them that we greatly care for them and thank them for their service,” said Craig Kindlin, LEAD Natural Resources manager. “It gives the warriors a chance to escape into the forests and fields to enjoy a hobby or passion they may have or possibly experience a new adventure.”

    LEAD has held these hunting events since 2007. In addition to providing an opportunity for the hunters to experience hunting on the depot, the hunting program at LEAD is used as a management tool to maintain a sustainable white-tailed deer population and decrease the chance of wildlife-related vehicle collisions on the installation.

    “Overall the hunting program provides a great opportunity to give back to the Soldiers that served this Nation, as well as provide opportunities to the hunting public,” Kindlin said.

    Joel Schneller, Heuvelton, New York, and Kim Riley, Richville, New York, are two of the veterans that participated this year. Although Schneller and Riley were deployed to the same region simultaneously, they didn’t know one another until hunting programs, such as the Wounded Warrior Hunt, introduced them.

    “We live near each other, but we didn’t realize that we were combat veterans at the same time in the same country,” Riley said. “The hunting brought us together. We were deployed at the same time to the same area but never saw each other there. Hunting can be used to bring veterans together.”

    Schneller echoed Riley’s comments.

    “There’s comradery, and we get to interact with other combat veterans. It’s a time to share those stories that you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to, and you make other connections with other veterans,” Schneller said. “I’m excited to be outside, outdoors with like-minded people. It’s a nice break from reality.”

    “It’s an out – a way out of the everyday world,” Riley added. “When you leave and go home, you feel like you’re far apart, but these events make you realize that you’re not that far apart. Plus, there’s also that adrenaline rush. You can’t forget about that adrenaline rush.”

    In addition to Riley and Schneller, veterans Russell Owens and Patrick Blakely also participated in the Wounded Warrior Hunt.

    The Hunt of a Lifetime was held in tandem with the Wounded Warrior Hunt.

    “Hunt of a Lifetime is a great foundation that provides hunting opportunities for children with a life-threatening illness,” Kindlin said. “Many of these children spend much of their time in medical care or at home. It provides them with a great hunting experience and a chance to harvest a deer on an Army installation.”

    LEAD provides the hunts primarily to children that live within a day’s drive to the depot. Most of the participants are local to the community.

    “Their excitement about being on an Army base as well as meeting and hunting with Soldiers is intense and real,” Kindlin said. “The program is a great way for LEAD to give back to the local community.”

    The Natural Resources Office spends several months preparing for the two hunts, as well as hunting season in general.

    “It starts in the spring with working and planting the food plots. Summer and fall are spent noting potential hunting locations based on deer sightings,” said Kindlin. “There’s a lot of coordination and work that comes with the two days of hunting. It’s overwhelming and tiring, but seeing the excitement on the hunter’s faces makes it all worth it.”

    LEAD partners with local clubs and organizations to help support the hunts each year.

    “The Soldiers and kids have harvested some great deer over the years and enjoyed their time spent at LEAD,” Kindlin said. “It has been a great collaborative effort between LEAD, LEMC and local organizations to support the hunts.”

    The Wounded Warrior Hunt and Hunt of a Lifetime proved bountiful for each of the participants. In total, four antlered deer, two antlerless deer and a coyote were taken by the hunters.

    Letterkenny Army Depot is the Army’s premier professional organic maintenance facility that provides overhaul, repair and modifications for tactical missile air defense and space systems, electric power generation equipment and various military vehicles, support systems and protection programs. LEAD is a subordinate of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and is the Air and Missile Defense and Long Range Precision Fires depot, supporting systems for the Department of Defense, foreign partners and industry. Letterkenny Army Depot was established in 1942 and is a government-owned and -operated industrial installation located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

    For more information about LEAD, visit
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    Date Taken: 12.17.2021
    Date Posted: 12.17.2021 11:37
    Story ID: 411447
    Location: CHAMBERSBURG, PA, US 

    Web Views: 604
    Downloads: 0