The weekend came with a big surprise.
Wounded service member, SPC Lance Gieselmann, USA, was invited to join Hope For The Warriors® at this year's Buckmaster's Expo, held in Montgomery, Alabama. For a man who grew up hunting, the expo alone was exciting. He met many of the people that he sees on his favorite TV hunting shows. In the above photo we see him with Jackie Bushman, founder of Buckmasters and star of The Jackie Bushman Show.
The big surprise however was the reason that Lance was on stage and reading the letter. He has been invited to the next Classic Life Hunt, a weekend long hunting trip that is hosted by Jackie himself. Each year, Jackie invites wounded service members to attend this hunting trip with him. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone who loves the great outdoors.
|Lance with the Bone Collectors|
Hope For The Warriors® was excited to invite Lance to the Buckmaster's Expo as part of our Outdoor Adventures Program. The program provides adaptive opportunities for wounded heroes to participate in sporting activities in the great outdoors. Thank you to Buckmasters for making this opportunity possible for service members.
And Lance's reaction? We are proud to share his words:
I want to personally thank...Hope For The Warriors®. You were professional, personable, more than accommodating, warm, and caring towards me and my wife. Unless you have rolled in my chair or suffered like I did and still do, no one will ever know how much being picked over so many more deserving soldiers means to me. I had few words the other night because it is still overwhelming to grasp. Shock, honor, blessing, grateful are just a few words that have been running through my mind since I left the stage.
Hope For The Warriors® has made me feel proud to be a veteran again. That what I did and what I sacrificed mattered to more than just my family. That the organization "gets it". They really understand how important it is for us broken, beat up warriors to get back in the woods and pick up where we left off before war changed us. And to get in the woods with a hunting icon, it's an indescribable feeling of honor, that people think enough of you to grant you the opportunity to do something like this. It has been a prayer request of mine for a long time, and for a long time, I never thought it would be answered.
I am honored to be selected, I'm blessed to be in such good company with Hope For The Warriors®, I'm grateful to have met you, and shocked that I didn't have some kind of stroke or mild heart attack when I read that letter on stage.
To learn more about the Outdoor Adventures Program, visit the Program Web Page. To contact the director for outdoor opportunities, e-mail email@example.com.