Six years ago, a group of us sat around a camp fire expressing a desire to try give our service men the same experiences we live for. Now, we find ourselves doing just that. We have immersed ourselves in the Combat Warriors organization. Not only did we find a way to unknowingly change our lives for the better, we found a way to share that same campfire with some of our nation’s finest warriors. The outdoors has a divine way of bringing people together. It’s that vein we try to tap into with each and every event. While it takes a gracious host, volunteers, and sponsors to make this organization run, all we really strive to do is to provide an avenue for these heros to enjoy Gods creation and decompress. It’s funny how life has a way of fulfilling our deepest desires sometimes. A couple of us reminisce on that conversation as we warm our feet by the fire waiting for our guests to arrive for the weekend.
One of the little things I have come to notice about these events is when the guys arrive at camp, it usually begins with a handshake. Two days later, we say goodbye with hugs and heartfelt wishes to see each other again. We’ve built relationships. Relationships we never would have had without Combat Warriors. We spend weeks, months and years preparing for these events. We line up food and lodging. We spend countless hours scouting turkeys, ducks and deer and exhaust every possible resource to make sure their time outdoors is spent being successful.
This past weekend was no different. We hosted our event in Grimesland, NC at the Rawls Farm. WIMCO pulls out all the stops for our warriors. Phenomenal food, drinks, and accommodations have become the norm with all the Combat Warrior events. Seven guys arrived in camp Friday afternoon. Before they stepped out of their trucks we only knew them as our nation’s heroes. Guys who put their lives on the line so we can live free. After a weekend of tracking deer, shooting limits of ducks, swapping stories around the campfire and enjoying nature in its purest form, we hope to have made a difference.
It’s so hard to put into words the profound impact these events have on each and every one who is involved. We tell people all the time this organization has done more for us that We could have ever imagined. There’s a somber feeling around the camp on Sunday mornings as the guys pack their gear. We have forged life-long friendships in 48 hours. There is no telling where this world is going to take these guys next. All we know is we were blessed enough to share camp with them for a weekend and hopefully life has us doing it a few more times. There are no more handshakes around camp anymore. It’s all hugs and admiration for new bonds that were forged in the great outdoors.
When all was said and done, the guys took home 6 deer and our group shot 13 limits of ducks. We always pray that the stars will align for these weekends so that our guys can have the hunt of a lifetime. Sometimes they do and there's no better feeling. Huge thanks to Kevin Rawls, president of WIMCO, for his hospitality and generosity to Combat Warriors. What a weekend!