4th ANNUAL ELK HUNT
with IVORY & ANTLER
OUTFITTERS AUGUST, 2018
NEBRASKA NOV. 2017
APPLY TO HUNT WITH US THIS WINTER!
COLORADO & NEBRASKA
ONE VETERAN, ONE SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD AT A TIME
We believe there is healing power in the great outdoors and the camaraderie of being around those that have walked in your boots.
Hero Expeditions, Inc. was founded on the belief that giving back to those that have selflessly sacrificed for all of us is simply the right thing to do. Our goal is to organize events that provide an atmosphere of camaraderie and fellowship amongst our participants. Our mission is to help create meaningful relationships that improve morale and change lives.
At HEX we organize outdoor expeditions for active duty military members, veterans, firefighters, law enforcement officers, families of those killed in the line of duty, special needs individuals and more.
In 2014 a VA study estimated that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
We've read several reports that say this number is too high and others that estimate it's
actually more than 22. The actual number is irrelevant to us, we're committed to
seeing it reduced and we pray that sharing something we love can make a difference.
INITIATIVE 22 is our mission to help any veteran,
anywhere, anytime to the best of our abilities.
We certainly don't have all the answers, however, we've seen great results and responses by simply making ourselves available. We answer the phone when vets call, we go have lunch with them, we text them out of the blue for no reason just to check in. We also put them to work with HEX as volunteers. Giving back to other veterans, for most of them, has been the greatest therapy they've experienced. Helping them find a new purpose has been crucial.
For every event we have a few small goals.
#1 - Get each veteran in connection with other veterans. Before they even meet they already have a bond that the rest of us don't understand, just put them in a room, a truck or a hunting blind with each other and get out of the way.
#2 - Take a genuine interest in their lives. We ask each of our volunteers to be exceptional listeners and to pay attention to detail. We want to be available when someone calls or wants to open up about their life. We aren't therapists, we're a resource. We're here to listen to them and to care about them. We use our events to form that bond and develop trust.
#3 - Make it fun. Veterans and special needs individuals alike need a release from everyday life. The change of pace and the excitement of the event fuels them and the act of adventure alone can be enough to have a real positive impact.
#4 - Follow up. We always look forward to staying in touch with those we work with. Most of our participants make new friends while they're on a Hero Expeditions outing and it's very common for them to stay in touch with each other as well.
In my line of work as a videographer and producer for outdoor adventure TV programs I have the honor of working with some truly great people all across North America. One of my favorites is a man named Tom Dermody. Along with his family and friends, Tom runs an organization based in Colusa, California called The Field of Dreams (fieldofdreamsinc.org). They focus their efforts on organizing and providing outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing, for veterans of the US Military wounded in action, as well as special needs children and their families.
I met Tom in 2012 and was introduced to The Field of Dreams while filming an episode of a TV show called Grateful Nation which airs on the Outdoor Channel. The event is called Warriors in the Wetlands and it had a profound impact on me. It forever changed my life because the stories I heard while there and the things that I saw hit really close to home.
In 1996 my own best friend, Derick Mumma (pictured above, on right, with his brother Darren) was seriously injured in Iraq when an IED detonated beneath his vehicle. The incident nearly claimed his life and it ended his military career. I had struggled for a few years since his accident to find that bond with Derick like we had before he enlisted and shipped off to war, but there was a disconnect between us that I couldn't understand and he couldn't explain.
What I witnessed in California was soldiers healing soldiers through handshakes that led to hugs after only a couple short days. They shared stories, they laughed, they cried, they enjoyed a camaraderie they hadn't felt since they last took off that uniform. They understood each other without saying a word and they found peace in those moments. For some of them it was the first peace they had felt since saying goodbye to their brothers upon retirement. Seeing all of this made me realize for the first time that there was no way Derick could be the same person today that he was when he left for the Army.
When I came home from this trip I knew I had to do something to make a difference in the lives of veterans. So in January of 2013, with the support of my family and friends, our great community, and especially Tom and The Field of Dreams, we hosted our first event. We brought ten wounded veterans from around the country here to Colorado for two days of goose hunting and we called it Honker Down for Wounded Veterans.
We honestly surprised ourselves with how successful that first event was and we have done it every year since. The phone calls we still get today from those veterans tells me we made a difference in their lives and that is why we have continued to grow. Through it, Derick and I have developed a whole new friendship as well. It's different this time around, stronger than ever and deeper than I can explain.
I have become wholeheartedly convinced that events like this can be a critical element in a soldier’s physical and mental recovery process, discharge from the military and transition back into civilian life. It provides an opportunity to meet others that have walked in their boots and are facing similar obstacles in life. It also allows them a chance to get back to doing something they love or develop a newfound love for the outdoors. Hero Expeditions, Inc. has been founded for the purpose of organizing these types of events. We encourage you to follow your heart and get involved. You can take action and make a difference.
Founder & President
Hero Expeditions, Inc.
We don't have any paid staff members,
Hero Expeditions is completely operated by volunteers.
Your contribution is vital to our success.
To make a donation via credit/debit card or with your PayPal account please complete this form then click the DONATE button below. You will then be redirected to PayPal to securely make your contribution.
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Thank you for your generosity!
Hero Expeditions, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit Corporation and all donations are tax deductible.
Check donations can be made out to Hero Expeditions, Inc. and mailed to:
Hero Expeditions, Inc.
PO Box 734
Eaton, Colorado 80615