Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) in cooperation with Paralyzed Veterans of America [PVA] hosted a central Texas hog hunt in early March highlighting the enormous contribution and sacrifice of the nation’s female military in the defense of freedom. HAVA and PVA have cooperated on several past events, but this was a unique opportunity to offer disabled women veterans the chance to experience the thrill of a wild pig hunt – several of them for the first time ever as hunters. The 4-day hunt on a 4,500 acre ranch southwest of Dallas offered these women the chance to connect with the outdoors and to build their confidence that, despite their disabling injuries, they could still enjoy the challenge of the shooting sports and the company of similarly injured women veterans with whom they share a common bond.
“HAVA people truly understand the challenges that disabled military men and women face in adjusting to civilian life,” said David Bradshaw, Texas Director of PVA and himself a disabled veteran. “For this event we had the chance to serve several Air Force and Marine female veterans and HAVA stepped in to provide the event supervision that made it a huge success for these deserving women. The shooting sports industry can be proud to be represented by such a quality organization which in only 5 years has made a real difference in the lives of hundreds of disabled Texas veterans – both women and men.”
“Women’s roles in the military have expanded exponentially in recent years as has the number of disabled woman from Mideast conflicts with their assignments placing them ever closer to combat,” said HAVA Chairman Tom Taylor. “HAVA’s mission is to serve both genders of America’s returning heroes, and this unique women’s hunt showed the courage that women veterans have in pursuing active participation in outdoor sports to regain confidence in their ability to overcome challenges. The participants expressed overwhelming excitement as they sat in the stand for these sunset hunts. The stories are amazing as one ex-Army veteran also competes in the Para Olympics shot put and javelin from her wheelchair while another disabled Marine was also a widow who had hunted with her late husband extensively. These are such genuine people with real life goals and it is our privilege and great honor to be with them. HAVA is here to serve these women and men, because our industry wants to express its deep appreciation for the valiant efforts of these extraordinary people who were “all-in” when America needed their commitment.”
For more information, please visit www.honoredveterans.org
HAVA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry for the purpose of raising awareness and further assisting disabled veterans with their healing process through active participation in guided hunts, shooting events and other outdoor sports activities. The sustaining sponsor companies are Smith & Wesson, NSSF, Mossberg, Yamaha Outdoors, Crimson Trace, Leupold & Stevens, Surefire, Hornady, Ruger, XS Sights, and FMG Publications among numerous contributing companies.