|Awards:||Purple Heart (2nd award), Bronze Star, and Army Commendation Medal with Valor|
I (SSG Derek VanBuren) was born and raised in the small rural town of Skanee in Michigans beautiful Upper Peninsula on February 6th, 1980. Over the years I learned about the outdoors from my father, grandfather, and several other relatives and friends. I loved to hunt, fish and trap from an early age and my passion for all things outdoors continue to this day. While attending college, I worked as a hunting guide which broadened my interest in hunting, especially bow hunting. I was lucky to be chosen by WWIA to hunt at Camp Hackett, Wisconsin in the fall of 2010. What an excellent hunting trip it was!
I joined the Active Army in July of 1998. I am currently with the 1431st Engineer Company (SAPPER) Michigan Army National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan from Nov 2008 until July 2009 when I and other members of my crew were wounded by an RPG during an intense firefight. After spending sometime in Lundstuhl, Germany, Walter Reed Army Hospital, and the Warrior Transition Unit while recovering from wounds. I was awarded the Purple Heart (2nd award), Bronze Star, and Army Commendation Medal with Valor.
Today I work for the 1431st EN CO as the Admin NCO (AGR) and I live in Negaunee, MI with my wife Katie and 2 children Eli and Amelia. I enjoy stream fishing for Brook Trout, fishing Lake Superior for Lake Trout, Predator Hunting, grouse and small game hunting, Bow hunting anything, and most anything outdoors.