Texas Hunters for Heroes (THH), a not for profit organization, had their inaugural event held in San Saba, Texas, on Dec. 8, 2012. THH is a group dedicated to assisting the wounded veterans of our country's military by introducing them to the joys of hunting. Through this endeavor, they hope to assist in their rehabilitation and reintegration into civilian life and provide them the hunt of a lifetime. With the generosity of Orbin Moorehead and family, the Moorehead Ranch, Burnham's Lodging, Alamo Pecan and Coffee Company, San Saba Olive Oil Company, Wedding Oak Winery, Hibler's Processing, Jarvis and Patty Shaw, Coats Taxidermy, and countless other local ranchers and residents, Cody Neusbaum, Jacob Schick, Dana Bowman and his son Mack, had an amazing hunt. Cody, who had been shot 11 times in Afghanistan at point blank, miraculously survived, after coding 3 times during his medevac. Jacob had an IED blow up under his vehicle causing the loss of a leg below the knee. Dana is a double amputee from a parachuting accident. All suffered multiple losses and deep changes in their lives. They have fought hard to resume living and Cody is still in that fight. He has another major surgery this month to add to his 80 plus surgeries. Each had a successful hunt and for just a moment, their trials and struggles were forgotten and smiles were big! Cody said on Christmas day that after that hunt and meeting the people of San Saba, he was not getting back in his wheel chair ever again!
San Saba is the heart of the hill country and the "Pecan Capital of the World" and I believe it is also the most compassionate community towards our wounded veterans. Your community welcomed these heroes with open arms and embraced the idea of the hunt.
The second gathering of Texas Hunters for Heroes was the weekend of the closing days of buck season. In that group were Cody Armstrong and Steven Jackel, both currently stationed in San Antonio and going through medical treatment. Cody, had an IED blow up just 3 feet from him and sustained severe burns and damage to his hearing. Steven had an IED blow up under his vehicle which resulted in the loss of both legs below the knee. Their losses and injuries, just like the earlier ones listed, are unimaginable to us.
With the blessing of the City Manager, Stan Weik, many of the people listed above, Jim and Kathy Edmondson and many more, a fish fry was held. Cody and Steven shared their stories and experiences and felt the support and love from San Saba. All of these men at one time during the hunts, got up out of their wheelchairs, put away their canes and crutches, and succumbed to the love of the outdoors, the camaraderie of hunting and the normalcy of life for a moment. A presentation on you tube is available for your viewing at http://youtube/Xr6ZdoKgN2Y titled Texas Hunters for Heroes Kick Off Hunt 2012, and more information will become available on www.Texashuntersforheroes.org as we develop this web site. We will be having man more hunts in 2013 spread throughout the county and statewide for these vets!
What started as a dream simply to do the right thing in helping our veterans has become a reality thanks to the residents of San Saba and surrounding areas. Words cannot express the appreciation and gratitude we all have for you and your community. From the words of Cody's dad to Texas Hunters for Heroes and the City of San Saba, "I personally wanted to thank each and every one of you for your time, patience, compassion and determination that you and your families showed my son and I during your first ever Texas Hunters for Heroes event in San Saba. From all accounts and the smile on Cody's face, the event was a huge success. It takes heroes to honor heroes and you all have my respect and admiration."
Thank you on behalf of Texas Hunters for Heroes.