I spent 10 years in the Marine Corps and left as a SSgt in late 2012. I received my PH from a mortar blast in Iraq in 2006. Back in 2010 I came across www.wwiaf.org and it literally changed my life. I grew up hunting and fishing but hadn't done much of either for close to a decade while I served. The founder of WWIA himself (Mr. John McDaniel) called invited me on a musky fly fishing trip in the northwoods of Wisconsin in 2010. To be honest at first I thought it was a scam but I gave it a shot and had the trip of a lifetime! Fast forward a few years and now I'm blessed to be able to help share more of these events with my brothers. True healing occurs on these trips and finding an awesome organization like Wounded Warrior's in Action has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I'd be willing to bet money that hundreds of PH veterans would agree with me 110%. I'm a better man today because of John McDaniel and the many WWIA Associates I've been able to sit around a camp fire in the woods with.
To Honor. To Connect. To Heal.
Succinct, yet three sentences thoroughly explain the power of the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation (WWIA). My involvement with WWIA began over 3 years ago, when I was invited to attend a top-tier fishing trip with a wonderful group of my peers (Purple Heart recipients). The level of camaraderie experienced during that trip was unmatched. For the first time, I was able to bond with a group of peers who "got it" - who truly understood all of the dynamics. The event was so powerful for me, I wanted...needed...to get involved; and I was able to.
Now, as an Associate Guide, I have the humbling honor of meeting 3-5 new groups of our nation's combat wounded heroes. From the initial phone call, through a powerful event, and for an infinite time thereafter; I get the honor of making new friends, connecting at a personal level, and partake in a level of healing that cannot be found in a physicians office. Each experience is incredible in it's own way!
My name is SSG Jonathan French, a Combat Engineer (12B)/SAPPER in the US ARMY MIANG. I was deployed to the mountains of eastern Afghanistan in 2008-2009. Prior to deployment, I thought the worst outcome was the possibility being killed. I was unaware there could be something far worse. During an intense firefight with insurgents in July of 2009, I was struck directly in the chest by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG). I was medevac'd out and sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for medical and physical rehabilitation. It was here I learned what was worse than dying. I found myself emotionally and mentally numb; wondering what my purpose or mission was. I felt lost with no real direction on where to go, what to do next or even if I felt like doing anything. I was later introduced to the Wounded Warriors In Action Foundation (WWIAF) and reintegrated back into the hunting and fishing sports (something I grew up with and was passionate about prior to deployment). Through the time provided in the outdoors, the pursuit of animals/game fish and providing sustenance for my family -I found my internal grounding, my purpose, a replacement for the surge of combat adrenaline and especially the ability to relax and breathe. Through WWIAF, I was able to gain direction in my life and a sense of purpose. In a battlefield environment a soldier is an expert at his job and duties. Now that I was back in the civilian world, this void was filled by my time as a sportsman in the outdoors. The WWIAF events provide the perfect environment for wounded Warriors' mental and emotional rehabilitation. A Warrior is given the camaraderie with fellow wounded Warriors and the environment to learn and grow from their experiences. New friendships and bonds are created between other Warriors, the extraordinary hosts as well as the donors with whose generosity helped us out on a deep, personal level; complete strangers who cared for us when we needed help. It confirms the idea of who we are fighting for, the greatness of this Country. This foundation introduces us with phenomenal people who share the same patriotism and values as us.
I'm not sure where I would be without this Foundation or the support of my family, firends and community. To the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, my greatest and sincerest appreciation for giving me a sense of purpose, direction and meaning back to my life.
When I First got the call I was in shock. The lady on the other end of the line asked me if I would Like to go on an all expenses paid turkey hunt in Virginia. I asked her how she knew I had a Purple Heart and she said someone must have signed me up. My wife. This trip really helped me. Sometimes I get lost in being a family man and working all the time and still struggle day to day with my memories and scars from the war. This trip helped me, It assured me that there are still people who care about an old war torn veteran like me and that means more than any words I could write on this here review. I made lifetime friends in only three days and memories that I will share with my children. This was one of the greatest opportunities I've ever had a chance of being apart of. It was so great that if I never get to do it again I am just thankful that I got to go the time that I did and that If I am not there then someone else deserving is there in my place they will fall in love with the comradery and hospitality that they will find from the best Non-profit in the world.
Wounded warrior in action... they are great. They sent me on a turkey hunt / walleye fishing close to home. Their communication is amazing. They had someone their to make sure everything went smooth, and really took care of me. It was great to get out in nature, and be around other wounded warriors like myself. Other non profits let anyone in. This is just for us. We have lots of wounds from war, and it is like therapy. I am blessed to be apart of this organization, and I am excited for my next adventure.
I went on a duck hunt with WWIA in 2015. I am so grateful that I was afforded the opportunity, and Im very happy I took advantage of the opportunity. The event was top notch and the mentor who attended was great at what he does.
For veterans, you will have the opportunity to join you brothers and sisters for quality time with laughing, hunting/fishing and sharing memories, mostly positive. As for donors, you can feel comfortable that your money is having a significant positive impact in the lives of veterans.
I've been a part of WWIA since 2008. A great organization and teammates who provide world class sportsmen opportunities to our nation's Purple Heart Medal Heroes in the USA and Canada. I've been a part of many hunts with WWIA in California, Florida and Alabama. I'm also a lead associate with WWIA and have been selected to lead future hunts nationally/internationally. I was also selected to attend the inaugural Guide School in Maine this May 2016. WWIA has afforded me the opportunities to grow as a true professional sportsmen and leader within the organization. They continue to empower me to be the best that I can be, in and out of the field. I owe them a tremendous Thank You and debt of gratitude! Thank you for such awesome opportunities!! Thanks John, WWIA teammates and fellow warriors/Heroes!
I was wounded twice in Iraq in 2004. From 2004 until 2013 I found ways to help with the healing process. On numerous occasions I was afforded the opportunity to go out with organizations for hunts,fishing trips, biking trips, camping etc. each time I refused. I consider myself lucky to be alive and always thought there were more in need that these organizations were designed for. My wife sent in an application for WWIA. I received a phone call from the foundation to go on a duck hunt in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was very hesitant, but my wife was very persistent! It was one of the best decisions I ever made! I spent a weekend doing something that I love, surrounded by a group of wounded veterans from the Vietnam War, Iraq War and the Afghan War and most importantly great Americans who volunteered their time and resources to just say thank you with no strings attached. The cadre of the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation is top notch!! All are volunteers, most were wounded themselves and never once did they ask for anything in return! I left a new man, a better person and most importantly a better husband and father. I told my buddies about the foundation and every single one of them, that has done an event with another organization, was envious of my experience. Thank you Wounded Warriors in Action.
I recently attended a fishing event sponsored and hosted by the Wounded Warrior In Action Foundation. They are 110% for assisting Veterans and making their event a top notch world class experience for the Purple Heart recipient. It is often hard for Veterans to talk to friends and family about their military experience. At these WWIA events the Veteran has the opportunity to talk freely and privately to those who may have had a similar experience or tragedy. I will always be in debt to the WWIA for the event they made possible for me to attend. Thank You
It a place where veterans can escape there day and find true happiness. They have changed my life and so many others.
A 4 day all expense paid trip to a hunting camp 20 miles from Phillips, Wisconsin in late October. Camp Hackett provided 400+ private acres and a chance to harvest a trophy whitetail. This is what was made available to me through the WWIA. My buddy Robin and I arrived at camp mid morning on Thursday and were immediately greeted by John, Jake, and Matt. John said unload your kit, hit the qualification stand (have to qualify with your equipment prior to the hunt), and we'll get you out onto a stand. I couldn't believe it, they understood exactly why I had signed up for this event... to HUNT. About that time it began to snow/rain. Most guys I know would have headed for shelter. John and his crew were eager for me to get on the stand though. They assisted me through the preliminaries and an hour later I was on the stand, I told Robin, "This is my kind of people". After a day on the deer stand we came back to camp with hot chow and warm bunks waiting. No pressure here you went out to the stand when you wanted and returned when you wanted, "Just enjoy the woods", John said. No media in our faces or people with a lot of questions, just hunting and comraderie. Stories were told and new ones made. God has provided the setting, John and his staff have chosen to use it to help heal. I thank God for WWIA and WWIA for the opportunity it provided.
I recently attended the Gator Hunt in Palm Bay, FL and had a great time. WWIA took care of everything in advance and kept me informed about all of it. It was a simple process, thanks to them, to get to the hunt, check in, and get reimbursed for ALL my related expenses. I wound up catching an almost 10' gator and now have plenty of meat for my family & friends to enjoy. i was able to keep the hide and will make something from it & WWIA is taking care of the skull mount for FREE!!
My name is Kevin Johnson. I recently enjoyed an alligator hunt courtesy of the WWIA. Let me tell you, these guys pull out all of the stops. From making travel arrangements to throwing the best experience I have had as a hunter.
I left my hunt with a 9 foot gator, alot of meat and some awesome stories to tell my kids. Not to mention all of the new friends I made along the way.
I would especially like to thank Col. John McDaniel and Duanne Wallace for making my hunting experience so great. Thank you to the Brevard County Air Boat Association for the rides, and the guides who helped me to bag a huge gator.