OUTDOORS: WWIA Upland Hunt in Wayne County still going strong
The ninth annual Wounded Warriors In Action Upland Hunt and Retreat enabled two Purple Heart veterans a chance to do some game hunting while their spouses were treated to a wine tour, along with brunch and a spa treatment at Woodcliff hotel and Spa in Fairport.
The annual event is the brainchild of Jim “JR” Reisdorf. Reisdorf, a retired Macedon businessman and Vietnam veteran, saw a program on television that caught his attention.
“I had issues when I returned from combat, and we didn’t have any support groups back then,” Reisdorf said at the time. “The program I watched was about an organization called Wounded Warriors in Action, and it featured a hunt organized exclusively for wounded warriors.”
Reisdorf contacted retired Lt. Col. John McDaniel, the founder of WWIA.
“Jim and I started the upland hunt in 2010, and it was only for the veterans,” said JR’s wife, Mary Lou. “During the 2011 event we connected with one of the wounded warriors that lived next to us at our winter home in North Carolina. Shawn Horsley and his wife, Fae, were our neighbors, and Fae convinced me to invite the wives to future WWIA events. She was instrumental for having the spouses accompany the veterans.
“In 2012 we added the wives for the weekend event.”
While the wives were off doing their thing, the veterans hunted pheasants for two days. On Sunday night the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle group escorted the two wounded warriors and their wives to Newark for dinner, culminating another memorable weekend for the soldiers.
JR Reisdorf passed away Nov. 7, 2013, but Mary Lou wasn’t about the let the event her husband founded disappear.
“I continue to feel so blessed to be an associate of WWIA and have this opportunity to give back to our warriors for all the sacrifices they have made so that we have the freedoms we do in America,” Mary Lou Reisdorf said. “God bless them, and I welcome them home.
“To the wives, I thank you for all the sacrifices and caretaking you endure before, during and after your husband returns home. May God bless all of our military and keep them safe.”
WWIA is a 501©(3) charity that devotes all of its energy and resources to supporting Purple Heart recipients by connecting them to nature and uniting them with people and communities who care about their well-being. During the past fiscal year 93.2 percent of donations supported WWIA events and operations directly.