William Murphy ... My name is William Murphy aka Murph. I'm a medically retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant. I lost most of my eye sight after returning home from Iraq in 2006. In May of this year, I was invited to Indiana for a turkey hunt. At first, I was like how in the world are blind and visionally impaired veterans going to go hunting. Mr. Lonnie Bedwell explained his plans to me, so I was on board completely. I was one of the four veterans that took down a turkey. I will never be able to explain in words exactly how this event changed my life, but know that I'm already equipping myself to continue hunting. Being vision impaired, I was able to see in the iScope well enough to the turkey around 20 yards out from me. That would not have been possible without the iScope, but that feeling of being able to do this on my own is very difficult to describe. Also, being around your community was like being in a huge family reunion. Everyone was very welcoming to us, made it very easy to learn the iScope and get to know our sighted guides. I pray and hope that you can continue this wonderful event in the future and change the lives of others, like mine has. Thank you again for this event, and please keep me in mind for any future events or help.
Your motivated GySgt of Marines!!
William Murphy (Murph) GySgt USMC Retired.
Tim Hornik ... your support and contribution played an instrumental role in the success of the blinded Veteran turkey program like the turkey hunt that promotes our transition into civilian life and feeling a part of the community more than national programs, as I know who possesses a vested interest in my wellbeing and you know precisely the impact you had on our lives.
My most cherished moment arose on the 2nd day of the hunt when David and I attempted to attract a gobbling turkey. The bird did everything right, gobbled, approached our area, and stood out in the open. As we lined up the iScope on the bird, we captured some fantastic footage of the turkey standing fairly still. In the video you hear us lining up the shot, releasing the safety, and the glorious click of the trigger ... everything was absolutely perfect, minus the lack of a shot being fired as the shell failed to load into the breach appropriately. However, this did not spoil our moment, as the turkey remained in the same spot as I bursted out laughing and we cycled a round into the chamber.
The bird did everyting for us, minus dressing itself and serving itself up on a platter at this point, for it remained in the same spot as we took aim again. The iScope nicely lined up on the turkey for a second time, and the video captured David and I talking our way through the moment. We lined up the shot, released the safety, pulled the trigger, and the beautiful sound of the shotgun going off. Apparently the video footage shows the turkey ducking at the last moment as its eyes peered straight through our scope's crosshairs. Oh well, I may not have scored a turkey, I at least scored the funniest story.
As a Veteran severely injured while serving in Iraq, peer support and enjoying the great outdoors provides the best forms of therapy. Being blind greatly reduces the chance to venture out and enjoy the company of my peers where we can just sit back and talk about life and what we do to overcome various barriers. Living in Lawrence, Kansas, I am restricted in the number of beautiful and picturesque settings Sullivan County offered to relax and enjoy the sounds of the songbirds and turkeys gobbling in the distance. This came at a very opportune time in my life, where I had been feeling closed off and alone due to the inability to enjoy friends, and find peace through nature. Thank you very much for this experience as it shows me that our great country possesses patriots like yourself.
Thank you for your assistance, Timothy Hornik.
Monaca Gilmore ... As a blind veteran I encounter many daily struggles. However, having the opportunity to gather some peace and encouragement in life was completed through the Heroes New Hope Foundation. This foundation allowed me to engage in a hobby I enjoyed before I went blind which is fishing. Being able to meet other veterans striving to push through similar issues and meeting a supportive community of people who stand behind our veterans encourages me to stay engaged in an active productive life. The Heroes New Hope Foundation opens doors for many veterans with limitations by assisting them to overcome their sense fear, isolation, or discouragement related to their disability. I really enjoyed the environment and the operation of this foundation. I will definitely refer and recommend veterans to Heroes New Hope Foundation. I appreciate the love and support that was given during the fishing trip. I believe this foundation achieves its mission of
helping veterans overcome their limitations through therapeutic healing while participating in outdoor activities.
Retired, United States Army Veteran
Brian Harris ... Often many veterans get burdened down with daily health issues that they can can lose interest in many exciting hobbies in their lives. However, being able to participate in the Heroes New Foundation 2016 Fishing Trip gave me an opportunity to regain a sense of peace and love for something I enjoyed to do before I encountered many health issues as a veteran. As a blind and an amputee veteran, it was a pleasure to regain encouragement to push thru these life changes. The Heroes New Hope Foundation sets the mark for being a great supportive team for our veterans. I admire the community and staff that the foundation has formed to give our veterans hopes for tomorrow. Therefore, I would highly recommend many veterans to participant in the events this foundation offers.
Retired, United States Army Veteran