Hunting and fishing club begins tradition to honor veterans
TULOT, Ark. (KAIT) - On a windy Friday evening, a group of men gathered to honor a hero.
“It was a great deployment. I checked all the boxes that I could have ever wanted to,” said J.D. Day.
J.D. Day is an Air Force veteran. He joined the Air Force in 2014, right after high school and deployed to Afghanistan four years later.
It was a deployment that would change his life.
“July 1, 2018, I got hurt. Stepped on a pressure plated initiated IED,” he said.
Day’s leg was amputated and he spent 10 months recovering at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Day’s father, Brian Day, said those 10 months changed their entire family.
“I think as difficult as it was, I think we would all agree that we are all in a much different place than we would be without the circumstances,” said Brian.
On Friday, Day joined over a dozen men at Hatchie Coon Hunting and Fishing Club to prepare for its Inaugural Wounded Warrior Duck Hunt.
He was invited through mutual connections.
Friday evening, the club spent hours setting up for hunting on Saturday and Sunday.
Day said events like these are not about what happened to him, but the recovery process and the community that stands beside him.
“Big life-altering, truly destructive events do not build resiliency they test it,” he said.
Day said he is looking forward to the early morning duck hunt and meeting new people.
“It’s through organizations like this that help build that foundation, that support network,” he said.
The hunting and fishing club said they plan to continue this event in the coming years.
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