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Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015

'Hunts for Heroes' termed a big success

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Joel Wonder, Matt Masog and Randy Blake with some of their deer.(Submitted photo)
The first local Hunts for Heroes event, conducted in late November, is being termed a great success.

Three days of deer hunts ---- Nov. 24-26 ---- resulted in four hunters bagging six deer, one buck and five does, on the farm of Jack and Helena Benham, located north of Worthington.

Hunts for Heroes, sponsored by Worthington Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Squadron 106 and Worthington American Legion Post 106, in cooperation with American Legion District 7 in Indiana, provided a unique hunting opportunity in Greene County for three disabled veterans and a son.

Brian Warner poses with his big doe.
(Submitted photo)
Participants included: Doyle Craig from Bloomfield, Brian Warner and his son, Matt Masog, from Louisiana, and Don Marsh from Arkansas.

Marsh spent an extra two days trying to get a buck.

"He didn't get a buck but plans on coming back and trying his luck another time," Joel Wonder, a member of the Worthington SAL squadron and 7th District Sergeant at Arms, commented. "It was a tremendous success. The guys had a great time."

Hunters (from left) Matt Masog, Don Marsh., Brian Warner and Doyle Craig. Standing, from left, Past 7th District SAL Commander Randy Blake, landowners Jack and Helena Benham, and Joe Wonder, 7th District SAL Sg.t. at Arms.
(Submitted photo)
Everything was provided for the veterans -- guns, ammo and even four-wheelers to help them get in the blinds and drag their game out, according to Wonder.

He had special thanks for Buffaloe Bed and Breakfast at Worthington for going the extra mile to make the visiting hunters feel welcome and allowed them special accommodations by allowing their garage to be used to hang and process the deer.

"Everybody took home meat," he added.

The organizers are seeking sponsors and volunteers to help in the future with the program that will also include in-season turkey, rabbit, geese and duck hunts.

"We are trying to make this a community effort," Wonder said in pointing out the processing, lodging and some meals have already been donated. "There is no cost at all to these guys once they get to Indiana. We will provide everything needed for the hunt except for travel to and from and your hunting license. We have over 1,200 acres of prime hunting land to enjoy along with 8,000 acres of public wetland (Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area) that is open to the public."

Wonder said no matter what disability a veteran has, means will be made to get them in and out of the field, dress and clean the game, provide them with all tools needed including guns and ammo, blinds and stands, decoys, and guides.

Plans have are already been made for a future hunt.

"White River Whistling Wings has donated a fully guided late season goose hunt for two disabled American veterans," Wonder said.

A wheelchair turkey hunt is also being planned in the spring.

The Linton Bass Club and Linton Bass Pro Shop have also volunteered to sponsor a 12-man wheelchair accessible fishing tournament in the spring at Greene-Sullivan State Forest.

There will be two one-half day fishing events, complete with prizes for the winners.

Wonder stressed that other hunts and fishing events will be planned as a way for the Greene County community to honor disabled veterans from the area and across the nation.

"This is open to any disabled veteran and if he or she has children we would also make this a family outing for them," Wonder stated.

Wonder said so far, the support from the community and businesses has been encouraging.

"All of the sponsors were a tremendous help with the program. We couldn't have the Hunts for Heroes program without help from our local business partners," Wonder said.

Sponsors and partners for the recent hunt included: Buffaloe Inn Bed and Breakfast, Route 67 Ice Cream and Diner, Sportsman's Pub, Correll's LP Gas, Inc., Bloomfield Dairy Queen, Bloomfield Legion Post 196, Worthington Country Market, Bobe's Pizza, Greene County Daily World, Cornelius Photography, Worthington American Legion Post 106 Ladies Auxiliary, Green Crop Services, Heirloom Game Calls, Sandy Armour, Bloomfield, Dave Setters, Switz City, Dori Taylor, Worthington, Jana and Kevin Benham, Worthington and Jack and Helena Benham, Worthington.

There are also opportunities in this program to donate time or land to hunt on.

Wonder said the goal is to expand in the future as word about the program spreads.

"Please tell your business partners about this program and if you know of a disabled American veteran that would like to take part, please let us know," he said.

Any disabled veteran who is interested in participating in a future event can contact Wonder by email at turkeyjoe295@hotmail.com or by phone at (812) 699-9729. Hunts for Heroes is also on the web at www.hunts-for-heroes.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HuntsForHeroes

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Thanks to all involved in this very worthwhile project.

-- Posted by dorindaJ on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 11:23 AM

I just want to say THANKYOU to all of the fine folks who made this hunt possible. I especially want to thank Joel Wonder and the folks from the Worthington American Legion Post 106 for all they did. The time and effort put in by everyone was key to he success of the hunt. In my life, I have never met so many great folks in one place. I was blessed to have met each and every one. Joel spent days carrying myself, and the other hunters in and out of the woods, arranging for lunches, and dinner and just generally keeping us in the hunt through the whole weekend. The folks at the Buffaloe Inn went above and beyond making sure we were comfortable and secure. Neither of these an easy task given my personal health and condition. With in a week of returning home, I was admitted to the hospital for surgury. It went well and I am home now, recovering as well as can be expected, again, given my general health and condition.

I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and again, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. My son Matt and I plan to return to see you all next fall for a visit, more hunting and hopefully a chance to help with the guys who hunt next year.

Merry Christmas and God Bless You All Please,

Brian Warner

-- Posted by Brian Warner on Thu, Dec 13, 2012, at 9:18 PM

I too would like to thank everyone involved in this Hunts for Heroes program.I had a great time and meet many new friends.The town of Worthington is much like my home town of Huntsville ,Arkansas ,small,lots of good people and you won't meet a stranger that wouldn't help you in anyway they could.A very special thanks to Joel Wonder and his wife for going out of there way to accommodate us and Bert at Buffalo Inn for the best place you could stay and the food he provided us hunters,also Dori & Brandi for a wonderful breakfast that we were surprised to get Sunday morning.And the Group that made it all happen -American Legion Post 106 in Worthington,IN., and Post 196 for there help.And I would have to say thanks to Jack Benham & wife for the hunting land,without all these people it would not of been a wonderful time an successful hunt for us Disabled Veterans to get the pleasure to have done.Thanks again to everyone that had a hand in this,and May God Bless them in years to come.

And I too would love to make it back and help or be a last minute hunter again,lol.

-- Posted by donmarsh52 on Fri, Dec 14, 2012, at 1:13 PM

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