Dean I.

In the beginning of 2011 I was introduced to the men of the Great Ditch Road Hunt Club. Little did I know how much of an impact that these men, who are now known as Combat Warriors Inc, would have on my life physically and mentally. I was a spine injury in 2006. I spent the better part of 4 years going through surgeries, procedures and therapy, all the while wondering if I would ever be able to enjoy the hobbies that I grew up doing. These hobbies all involved the outdoors. When you have a spine injury every doctor you talk to will have a different opinion than the next doctor, but one opinion that they all shared was that I would never hunt or fish again nor was it even recommended. For 4 years this is what was preached to me from every specialist and every therapist I came in contact with. I was told to find something “sedative” to do and stick with it. It wasn’t till my last surgery in Nov. 2009 that the doctor told me the same that I made a decision to attempt to prove them wrong. In Jan. 2011 I was presented the opportunity to go on a duck hunt by a friend of mine. Needless to say, I thought twice but decided that I would do it. All of the doctors and surgeons sayings were constantly going through my head when I decided to go on this particular hunt. All in all, my nerves were a wreck on my way to the hunt. Was I gonna prove the doctors right or was I gonna prove them wrong? When I arrived at the duck hunt, I met some of the most genuine, down to earth men I’ve ever met. Not once did my injuries or medical condition come up in conversation. Not once did I hear them say, “are you sure you can do this?” For the entire weekend all I heard from them was, “you can do this,” “good shot,” “come on Dean, you’re going with us.” Before I knew it, all those doctors’ voices were gone from my mind completely. These gentlemen showed me that “I could” instead of “I can’t.” To me, they are all a “hero’s hero.” Since that first duck hunt, I’ve been on two more duck hunts with them including a deep sea fishing trip and since returning home to PA. I have returned to my hobbies that I grew up to love, and it’s all because of a group of men from the best parts of North Carolina. My hat is off and my head is bowed to these men for the rest of my life.