Hunting for purple hearts - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Hunting for purple hearts

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Out along the Smith River hidden amongst the hills is where the group of hunters prepare for their day.  

Howard Briel,  Douglas Wenzel  are both veterans, purple heart recipients, and from out of state.  And they both love to hunt.

Getting an out of state hunting license can cost up over a $1,000. Which is why having this opportunity is a huge deal.

"It means so much to be here today not just for myself but for the others who cant be here.  so coming here and being able to do that mi able to do is a tribute to those who made it possible which is my family members," said Briel.

These two men have survived war, debilitating injuries, and losing their friends and now being here under the big sky means to them more than just hunting. 

"To be here is something I have always enjoyed being outside hunting and enjoying nature and I'm not one for pain pills and I get a lot of aggravation from the spinal cord injury and I just go to my happy place and this is my happy place," said Wenzel. 


Hank Worsech legislative liaison for FWP who is a veteran himself says this program for wounded warriors started in 2013

"A person can donate it. It can be a resident or nonresident can donate it and it goes into a pool and then as organizations come forward with wounded veterans they can get a license given to them and go out on a hunt for free," said Worsech.

Programs like Field of dreams INC are designed to get vets out hunting and fishing. 

Doug's message to other veterans, You are not alone. 

"And as a Vietnam vet, we have already toppled the rough roads we have a lot to share and encourage we have been able to help and encourage wounded vets and to do what I'm doing today its been a big influence impact in their lives and their recovery," said Wenzel.
 

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