To the Editor:
Well, it’s official. The fifth annual SCI Wounded Veterans Deer Hunt was held the weekend of Dec. 7 – 9, 2018.
Twenty-one wounded veterans came from all over the state of Mississippi to participate in a weekend of hunting fellowship at some of the most exclusive hunting clubs in the Delta.
The only disappointment was that out of all the city and county officials invited to participate in the event, including fire and police chiefs and the sheriff, only Clarksdale city commissioner Bo Plunk actually attended. We appreciate Bo’s commitment to these veterans.
These heroes had come from every border of the state — but for the first time, there was no official welcome from those in charge of the city. Nineteen veterans were Purple Heart recipients. Every one of these men had put their lives on the line for us and were wounded in combat in the process.
Yet, no one, other than Bo, seemed to appreciate their sacrifices. To those of us who knew that each of these officials had been invited, some of them multiple times, it was embarrassing.
Clarksdale can do better than that!
The veterans arrived on Dec. 7, to be honored at the post home of Bill Whitmire (of VFW Post 3936) with a catfish dinner and all the trimmings.
Despite the rain, rain, rain they experienced most of the weekend, these hardy men and their club guides were eager to pit their hunting skills against Mississippi wildlife. Over the two-day event, a total of 11 bucks, six does and eight wild hogs were bagged.
Their successes were celebrated at the concluding barbecue dinner. Area businesses and individuals donated some gifts for the hunters. They wanted to be involved. We thank them for that patriotic gesture.
Special recognition goes to the game wardens and officials of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, who fully supported the hunt. They attended the catfish dinner and blanketed the whole of the hunting area over the entire weekend, checking out any harvested animal for signs of illness.
These valiant officers didn’t let a blowing rain distract them from a job that needed to be done. We thank them.
Clubs participating were Bland Bayou Hunting Club, Burke’s Hunting Club, Coahoma County Conservation League, Concordia, Merigold Hunting Club, Russell Farms, Spradling Farms, Ward Lake and Watts Plantation. They volunteered to host from one to four veterans each, treating them to the best of Delta hospitality.
At the closing event, every vet called the event awesome and expressed appreciation for their experiences with their hosts and club guides. Rain or no rain, one and all said they’d never had so much fun and that it would be an event to be remembered for the rest of their lives.
We thank these clubs and their hunting guides, also. This is an undertaking that came straight from the hearts of these clubs — something that they did instead of going out to enjoy a hunt themselves. Without their participation, there would have been no hunt.
Raymond and Mary Eunice Cole