Welcome to the WWIA Podcast! After 16 years of proudly serving our Purple Heart Heroes, we have decided to complement our mission by introducing a brand-new podcast in 2023! The WWIA Podcast is a great way to stay connected, go behind the scenes, and learn more about the Foundation, our Heroes, Hosts, Supporters, Donors, and much more. It also serves as another vehicle to help bring greater awareness of our mission to bring Honor, Connection, and Healing to our combat-wounded Heroes, through the power of the great outdoors. You can find the latest episodes here on this page or through your preferred audio or podcast service, such as iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, by clicking the links below. Be sure to subscribe/follow to get all the latest episodes. Also, please do us a favor and leave us a review on your favorite podcast service when you get a chance. Tell your friends and family about our podcast, and more importantly about our mission. Alright, go listen and enjoy! 💜 🎙️
On today’s episode, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel is honored to spend time talking with an incredible American Patriot and Hero. Crystal Masek is a Purple Heart recipient, WWIA Guide, and Host of the Inaugural Rocky Point Recreation Area South Dakota Archery Antelope Hunt. Crystal proudly served in the Army Reserves for twenty-six years and is an avid hunter and angler who appreciates and enjoys most anything outdoors, especially new experiences and traveling. Of all of Crystal’s accomplishments and successes, none of them mean more to her than her daughter Lexi, who also proudly serves our nation’s Armed Forces as a Combat Medic in the U.S. Army. Enjoy this outstanding conversation with John and Crystal.
On today’s episode of the WWIA Podcast, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel, spends some time talking with two incredible American patriots, Dennis Reynolds and Shelley Cohen. Dennis and Shelley have been tremendous supporters of the Foundation, hosting 3 different WWIA events annually at their beautiful DoubleCreek Lodge in Tennessee. They currently host a turkey hunt in the spring, followed by an archery Deer Hunt and rifle deer hunt in the fall. This year will mark a decade of Dennis and Shelley proudly serving and honoring our Purple Heart Heroes, and we could not be more grateful for their outstanding efforts and dedication. We hope you enjoy getting to know Dennis and Shelley and we appreciate them taking time out to share some of their stories and experiences with us.
On this latest episode of the WWIA Podcast, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel, introduces us to one of the Foundations premiere partners and friends, Mr. Chris DeMik. Chris is a part of the American Legion Thomas Hartung Post 1977 in New Lenox, Illinois. The American Legion Thomas E. Hartung Post 1977 are a WWIA Medal of Honor recipient, having donated over $210,000 in support of WWIA and our Purple Heart Heroes since 2010. Remarkable! We are honored to have Chris join us today as he and John discuss their amazing community of supporters, family, fatherhood, and what it means to give back and make a difference. It’s a wonderful conversation that we’re proud to share with you.
Today is National Purple Heart Day, a day where we recognize and honor the tremendous service and sacrifice of those brave men and women who have earned the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded on the battlefield or having paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives while in service to our country. On this special episode of the WWIA Podcast, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel talks about the history of the Purple Heart. Please join us in honoring America’s brave Purple Heart recipients today as we honor and thank them for all they have given on behalf of our country and in preservation of our freedom. 💜
On today’s episode of the WWIA Podcast, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel, is honored to introduce us to one of our phenomenal event Hosts, Mr. Scott Samuels. Scott has been proudly serving and honoring our Purple Heart Heroes at his stellar event, the Eagle River Muskie Chal-Lunge. Scott, along with his tremendous and generous community of friends, businesses, and supporters in Eagle River, Wisconsin, have rallied around our Heroes year after year, thanking them for their service and sacrifice. For the past ten years, our combat-wounded veterans have had an exceptional and memorable time while they experience world-class fishing in pursuit of the elusive muskie, share food, fun, laughs and stories with fellow Heroes and newfound friends in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. It’s a great conversation that we’re excited to share with you today and a wonderful example of what a tremendous impact a community can have when they join forces in support of America's Heroes.
On this episode of the WWIA Podcast, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel, welcomes Mr. Roy McKenzie to the program. Roy resides in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and is the founder and owner of 4 Bulls Meats, Seafood, & Deli. Roy has been in the meat and butchery business for over 35 years and has the distinct honor of having won four National Beef Stampede Awards. Roy is also the Host of WWIA’s Annual North Dakota Wild Pheasant Hunt, which will proudly celebrate its sixth year of honoring and serving our Heroes this fall. Roy also co-hosts the “End of Summer BBQ Cookoff & Concert” in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, an outstanding fundraising event that helps support WWIA as well as other local non-profits within Mississippi. Roy is a proud and avid supporter of WWIA and America’s combat-wounded veterans, and we are honored to spend time talking with him and sharing his part of his story with you today.
On today’s episode of the WWIA Podcast, we are proud to introduce you to one of our incredible Purple Heart Heroes and a certified WWIA Guide, Mr. Derek VanBuren. Derek grew up with a love for hunting, fishing and trapping from an early age and his passion for all things outdoors continues to this day. While attending college, he worked as a hunting guide, which broadened his interest in hunting, especially bow hunting. Derek joined the Army in July of 1998 and was deployed to Afghanistan from Nov 2008 until July 2009. While deployed, he and other members of his crew were wounded by an RPG during an intense firefight. He then spent time in Lundstuhl, Germany, Walter Reed Army Hospital, and the Warrior Transition Unit while recovering from wounds, for which he received the Purple Heart medal. He attended his first WWIA event at Camp Hackett, Wisconsin in the fall of 2010 and has been a valuable part of the WWIA team ever since. Today he lives in Michigan, with his wife Katie and two children Eli and Amelia. He enjoys stream fishing for Brook Trout, fishing Lake Superior for Lake Trout, Predator Hunting, grouse and small game hunting, bow hunting of all kinds, and most anything outdoors. Enjoy this awesome conversation with John and Derek.
On this episode of the WWIA Podcast, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel is joined by two remarkable Americans, Todd Bohm and Tony Kopchinski. Todd and Tony hail from Kronenwetter, Wisconsin. Todd is the Host of the longstanding Wisconsin Cast and Blast event, which has been proudly honoring our Heroes for thirteen years! Tony is Todd’s father-in-law and is the outstanding Host of one of our most unique and revered events, the Wisconsin Woodturning event, which recently celebrated its 9th year of serving our combat-wounded veterans. Todd and Tony have a tremendous heart for our Heroes and have made a tremendous impact and difference in their lives over the years. We are honored to share their thoughts, experiences, and WWIA journey with you today.
The mission of WWIA is to serve our nation’s combat-wounded Purple Heart recipients by providing world-class outdoor sporting activities as a means to recognize and honor their sacrifice, encourage independence and connections with communities, and promote healing and wellness through camaraderie and a shared passion for the outdoors. One of the questions that we get on occasion pertaining to our mission is, how exactly does that work? What does that mean exactly? Well, it’s a great and valid question. On today’s episode, WWIA Founder and CEO, John McDaniel answers that question for us, giving clarity and detail behind how our mission and events unfold. There's certainly a great deal that goes into sending our Heroes on these outdoor sporting events across North America and John breaks down the process and particulars to give a better understanding and an inside look on this special “How it Works” episode of the WWIA Podcast.
On today’s episode, we are proud to introduce you to one of our tremendous friends and supporters of the Foundation, Mr. Danny Bourassa. Danny is an Army veteran, and a jack of all trades, who along with his wife Nancy, as well as their children, have been proudly supporting WWIA and serving our Heroes for over a decade. They currently Host the annual WWIA Wisconsin Golf Tournament Fundraiser (over the past 9 years), as well as the Annual Wisconsin Heroes Northland Experience Black Bear Hunt, which will celebrate its 4th iteration this coming fall. We hope you enjoy getting to know Danny as he shares some of his thoughts and experiences with us.