WORLD-CLASS HUNTING AND FISHING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PURPLE HEART VETERANS
ARE YOU A PURPLE HEART VETERAN who enjoys the great outdoors? The Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation Inc (WWIA) is a national charity that serves combat-wounded veterans by sending them on all-expense-paid hunting and fishing events, and we would love to hear from you. With an ever-growing schedule of opportunities, WWIA is always accepting new applications from Purple Heart recipients who would enjoy attending a world-class outdoor sporting event.
See just how much of a difference WWIA has made in the life of one combat-wounded veteran:
"I don’t need any more stiches–the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation provides the kind of treatment to combat-wounded veterans that we can’t get anywhere else. That’s therapy for the soul."
In 2009, Sergeant Major Pat Corcoran was stationed in the central part of Afghanistan, just south of Kabul. One morning in August, the vehicle he was in ran over a roadside bomb. Thankfully, the equipment they were riding in saved Corcoran’s life, but he suffered extensive spinal cord injuries and was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Pat is a loving husband, the father of two boys, and a lifelong hunter and fisherman. One of Corcoran’s concerns was that he would be unable to enjoy the great outdoors after his injuries. "While in the hospital," Corcoran says, "I met a lot of other soldiers who were avid outdoorsmen just like I am. Combat-wounded veterans returning home, me included, often feel lost in terms of being able to enjoy the outdoors to the same degree they were able to before."
That all changed when Corcoran found the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. In 2012, he went on his first WWIA event hunting black bear in British Columbia.
"Since I am in a wheelchair," Corcoran says, "I had some concerns about this kind of event, but the folks at WWIA worked very hard to make sure I was comfortable and were there to support me along the way. They do a tremendous job adapting events so that all Warriors, regardless of physical ability, may enjoy them."
Corcoran enjoyed his first experience with WWIA so much that he asked to become a bigger part of the organization. He now leads the Florida Alligator Hunt in Brevard County, one of WWIA’s most popular events.
"I spent my entire adult life in the Army," Corcoran says, "so one of the things I missed even more than being outdoors was the small-unit camaraderie that exists in all branches of the military. One of the unique things about WWIA is that they team three to five veterans on each of these events, which is the size of a combat unit. By the end of the weekend, we can relate to each other as we once did as infantry soldiers."
WWIA encourages American heroes to get back in action; hunting and fishing provide excellent opportunities to assist our wounded veterans in recovering– mentally, physically, and spiritually–from their war experiences. Critical to the healing process, WWIA events bolster self-confidence while strengthening the bond with nature, other Purple Heart recipients, and local communities who care about their wellbeing.
"Being a part of this organization has given me a new perspective on my life," Corcoran says. "After my injuries, I really didn’t think that I could be a productive member of society. They were so extensive that I needed the mental healing that this organization provided, along with the physical healing offered by my doctors."
WWIA has given the gift of long-term healing to Corcoran and hundreds of other combat-wounded veterans with similar stories. Through opportunities like whitetail deer hunting in Wisconsin, pheasant hunting in South Dakota and inshore fishing in Florida, these heroes experience a wide variety of opportunities that fulfill lifelong dreams.
Join the hundreds of others like Pat Corcoran and let WWIA serve you on one of the world-class events at zero cost to you. Please visit wwiaf.org and fill out the online application. In the less than 15 minutes it takes to complete, you could be on your way to enjoying the trip of a lifetime with fellow Purple Heart veterans.
For more information about WWIA and the incredible Heroes being served, please visit wwiaf.org, on Facebook, or call at (813) 938-1390.