Hunting with Heroes brings out veterans - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Hunting with Heroes brings out veterans

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Hunting with Heroes put on their 9th annual Veterans with Disabilities Bow Hunt Saturday. Disabled vets were set up across Lima ready and waiting for deer. Hunting with Heroes put on their 9th annual Veterans with Disabilities Bow Hunt Saturday. Disabled vets were set up across Lima ready and waiting for deer.

Saturday was a big day in Lima for dozens of disabled veterans.

"We're deer hunting, but it's not about deer hunting," says Joe Sawmiller, head of Hunting with Heroes.

Hunting with Heroes put on their 9th annual Veterans with Disabilities Bow Hunt Saturday. Disabled vets were set up across Lima ready and waiting for deer. While hunting is a big draw, the event itself is an opportunity to connect disabled veterans with the people who understand their situation the best.

"The fellowship, seeing the other veterans," says U.S. Army veteran Jake Jacobsen. "It's usually around Veteran's Day so they have a little, like a celebration for that, and to see people like you doing the same things that you like to do." Jacobsen has gone to every bow hunt since its inception.

The hunt helps properties with their deer management, with Husky Refinery, the J.S.M.C. plant, and the Johnny Appleseed Park District all opening their land to the hunters. But the hunting is only part of what brings veterans out every year.

"The big thing is, they're communicating with other people, they stay in touch during the year," says Sawmiller. "Other hunters they don't know, they meet and they stay in touch, and go on trips together and do stuff. The whole idea is trying to integrate them back into the system."

The event has grown a lot from it's beginning group of eight, to 44 vets participating this year. Jacobsen says that no disabled vet is turned away from the program, and has one piece of advice for anyone who may be on the fence about participating in the future:

"You gotta go. I'll see you next year."
 

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