Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation


Harvesting a black bear was something on my bucket list that I always wanted to do, but truly thought I would never get to. The WWIA allowed me to achieve this life goal and expanded my family. This hunt will be a fond memory that I will look back on for the rest of my life. It will brighten my dark days and always bring a smile to my face. The Hosts of this event are what makes this country great and worth fighting for. In this rough time, it is amazing to see such giving and humble people. Derrick is an amazing Guide and great person. You can tell this group of people really, truly cares. Thank you does not express my gratitude and feelings. 100 pound black bear harvested, thanks!

D. Craft, USMC
Purple Heart Recipient

This was my very first black bear hunt. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I would like to thank the Hosts, Nancy and Dan as well as WWIA Guide, Derrick. Without these people, this event would not have been possible. I was able to enjoy time away with people who understand some of the challenges that todays wounded veterans face. It was exciting, relaxing and most importantly, I built friendships that will last a lifetime. I was able to successfully harvest a 125-pound black bear and every time I look up to see it, I will remember this amazing experience. A big thank you to the WWIA team.

D. English, USMC
Purple Heart Recipient

I struggle to write because it is hard for me to put into words how grateful I am to be a part of such an amazing event. From first contact all the way up to arrival, the communication from the Foundation was incredible. I am truly thankful for such an amazing community in Phillips that has come together to make this event possible. I will forever have great memories from Camp Hackett. The two bear, geese, one porcupine and countless lifelong friends are just an added bonus. Thank you, John, Art and Derek. Thank you to the people of Phillips and thank you WWIA.

T. Ribby, USMC
Purple Heart Recipient

Thank you for everything that you guys are doing for veterans. Your operation is locked in from the get go. It reminded me of being back in the military. This bear hunt was a great experience for me, although no joy in getting a bear. I got to meet some great people. I was able to learn and see how things are done by experienced hunters. We felt at home and very comfortable the whole time. Thank you for everything.

S. Rosales, USMC
Purple Heart Recipient

I would like to first and foremost thank everyone for this awesome experience. I met a lot of great people who I believe truly had an American spirit and appreciated my service. This hunt offered me plenty of first time experiences from seeing and harvesting my bear to catching some of the fish I caught. Out of it all though I think the most important thing it helped me with was learning to cope with my issues, I had a hard time getting on that first plane. I also was able to make new friends and grow my family through this new brotherhood. I want to thank Jake, Dave, and Roy with his Crew for helping me through this. Thank you, Corrina and John, for this amazing experience, I hope that you are all blessed for years to come for what you provide and for how you help out the Veteran Community. Much love and Respect for all you do.

S. Stanley, US Army
Purple Heart Recipient

Hunting saved my life. When I got back from combat, there were a lot of mental and emotional scars. We lost some good brothers, and it stays with you. I also lost my single Mom to Cancer in 2016. A man, especially a Marine usually believes he is an invincible Warrior. That is not the case when those lost brothers and loved ones bring you to your knees. It was not until my Marine brother introduced me to hunting that I was pulled from the darkness. The wilderness, the gun powder, and the harvest is now my shining light of peace. But even more importantly, the fellowship. Thank you for this opportunity and moment in time to find peace. I am eternally grateful. Thank you.

D. Pham, USMC
Purple Heart Recipient

This is our third-year volunteering with the WWIA Team Erie event. Mark (Redneck) and I are boat captains. My most favorite part of the weekend is when the Legion hosts our Heroes. The parade, walking through the tunnel of color guard and Legion members just causes the ugly cry to erupt each year. The community of Ashtabula is so supportive of this event. They make me think we just went back to 1950 with their patriotic respect. I seriously have not met one of our Heroes that I have not been humbled by on this event. All have been so appreciative of our efforts. This year was met with so many challenges (log jam in the river, which was impassable, small craft advisory predictions and storms) which were resolved, and we had an awesome weekend. So many memories and friend made. Thank you for the Memories.

Mark and Meme

Bill, Larry, Mark, Dave and all the volunteers have put on another extraordinary event. The camaraderie, fishing, food, and atmosphere were once again, top notch. The Ashtabula community and all the volunteers were so incredibly kind and generous. This event has become personal for me as many of its Hosts and volunteers have become very good friends. Every time I am fortunate enough to be chosen for this event, it feels like a homecoming of family and friends. The Warriors were incredible making the presence of military brothers and sisters that much more relaxing and enjoyable. My wife and kids were camping nearby, a place my wife spent her summers as a child. Being a Guide/Associate with WWIA for many years now, she only saw the calls and the paperwork side of the events being done. She requested to stop by on Thursday morning with my two sons (8 and 10 years) to help set up tables and chairs, make beds and help with whatever needed doing. The Hosts were incredibly kind in welcoming them with open arms. It was also special to me to see my family meet and spend time with the Warriors and witness firsthand the affect WWIA has on all of the Warriors and volunteers. Every year Larry and Mark pledge that the next year “will be better”. I chuckle inside wondering how it can get much better and where can they find room for improvement. They always do find a way though. The addition of the fire truck hanging a massive flag at the American Legion on Friday and the smoked meats lunch on Sunday was mind blowing. The fishing, Warriors, Hosts, boat captains, and their families went above and beyond anyone’s expectations. These men and women have this event dialed in! I can’t express enough how thankful I am to be a part of this organization and to be introduced to such incredible people. I can’t say thank you enough. All my best.

J. French, US Army
WWIA Guide
Purple Heart Recipient

A most outstanding trip for me. Frenchy and Jason were great! Fishing was fantastic and the folks that spent a great deal of their time, there are no better. They put a great weekend together. Special thanks to Bill and Mark for great fishing and making us feel at home. Thank you very much.

J. McClister, US Navy
Purple Heart Recipient

First and foremost, this was awesome! It brought tears to my eyes to see not only the volunteers but the town folks supporting us. I did not have one negative experience while I was here. Forgive me but it is hard to put into words. This experience you all have afforded me, the support and gratitude exceeds any of my expectations.

T. Carter, US Army
Purple Heart Recipient