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Wounded Warriors Turkey Hunt

By Natalie Potts
By Npotts@wbbjtv.com

GIBSON COUNTY,- Dozens of wounded soldiers gathered at the Milan Ammunition Plant to hunt with active soldiers and volunteer veterans in a rehabilitation program named the Wounded Warrior Turkey Hunt.

Sunday, the National Wild Turkey Federation and TWRA partnered with the U.S. Army in Milan for a special jump start to turkey season.

The hunt allowed disabled Fort Campbell soldiers who are in medical transition to hunt two weeks before turkey season opens.

"This program saved my life," said Special Sergeant Mathew Taylor on the Warrior Transition Program. "The one thing that outdoors allows us to do is focus on something else besides the pain."

Soldier Delbert Deltray told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that the volunteers help war heroes in more ways than just hunting for turkey.

"I nearly lost both of my legs and I've gone through 17 surgeries to repair most of the damage, I have to wear hearing aids from now on but other than that I'm almost back to normal and I attribute that a lot to the Hooah program and hunting in general," said Deltray. "I've seen this program specifically change 3 people I know one of them couldn't even go into a Kroger, just because of the crowds of people."

NWTF Wheelin' Sportsmen Program provided hunter chairs, for the disabled participants that could not walk into the woods.

"To see people's faces and their attitudes change when we provide them a piece of equipment that they can use and be successful its very heartwarming and touchy," said Randy Green of the NWTF.

The event encourages wounded heroes to connect with other soldiers who have been through the challenges of transition and PTSD.

Participants said they are thankful for the West Tennesseans who volunteered in the hunt, proving that their long road to recovery is filled with love and fellowship.

"It's one of those things where you truly do know that other people do care," said Deltray.

Organizers said their biggest bird was more than 24 pounds.

For more information on NWTF Wheelin' Sportsmen visit their website at www.nwtf.org.