Wounded veterans, people in wheelchairs and children of deployed service members will be treated to two days of good food, camaraderie and hunting Monday and Tuesday.
The eighth annual Wounded Warrior & Wheelchair Hunt, hosted by the Lowcountry Chapter of the Safari Club International, will kick off Monday with a hero's welcome. About 200 volunteers will line the driveway of Nemours Plantation in Yemassee, where the main events are held, and wave American flags and welcome the veterans.
The Parris Island Marine Corps Band will perform and Brigadier General Lori Reynolds, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, will speak before a barbecue lunch is served.
After lunch, pro shooter Chris Matthews will give a demonstration before the participants head out for a hunt. The hunters will go out again Tuesday morning before heading home around 2 p.m., according to the event website.
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Forty wounded veterans, 10 adults in wheelchairs and 10 children of deployed service members will be at this year's hunt, according to Mark Peterson, the creator of the event. About half the 200 volunteers are active or retired Marines and the other half are civilians and members of the Safari Club. About $10,000 to $12,000 is raised each year to run the event, which includes lodging, food and equipment, Peterson said.
Nemours Plantation is the event's main base but Peterson said several area private plantations, which are groomed for hunting, donate use of land and game to the hunters. Last year, hunters bagged 18 deer and three wild hogs, according to the event's website.
Peterson started the program after a friend, whom he taught to hunt years before, became paralyzed after an 80-foot fall.
"We want to serve the people who need it the most," Peterson said. "It's a patriotic and heartfelt event and our volunteers get as much out of it as the hunters do."
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