Recently, I had the great privilege of hosting roughly two dozen wounded former military servicemen and guides for a hunting weekend on my ranch in Irion County, Texas. The guys who came out are in some ways a mixed and motley group…a gunsmith, a welder and others training in fields like equine therapy, criminal justice and cyber defense. Military tours took them to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Haiti. But they share one core sameness that links them perhaps even more than serving in the U.S. Armed Forces did. Whether Airborne, Infantry or Cavalry, they were all physically wounded serving our great nation. Some watched fellow soldiers die beside them or were wounded trying to save another.

These men came to my Bobcat partner Shea Morenz and me through the Military Warriors Support Foundation. Shea and I have long supported this organization’s efforts. The weekend in late January was part of our effort.

With the guys here, it’s a busy couple of days at the BLVLodge. We’re up at 5:00a.m. and in the blinds by sunrise. The animals that are tagged to shoot include: scimitar-horned oryx, whitetail and axis deer, black bucks and red stags, to name a few.  The hunters are out all day–coming in for meals only –all the way until the sun sets. They don’t brag about it, but they are all good shots, so there is no tracking down wounded animals. As the day closes, the men circle around a crackling campfire. And despite all the talk and laughter, they share a silent brotherhood that we civilians will never know.

The meat from the weekend’s hunt is cleaned and packaged for food which goes to the families of wounded warriors. It is a huge help to all of the Military Warriors Support Foundation families.The Military Warriors Support Foundation serves wounded warriors in some very essential ways, such as providing them with homes and even vehicles.

The BLV Hunting Lodge is where we host all of our Military Warriors Support Foundation events. I grew up on this ranch and I love to tell its stories. My family has owned this ranch for over 115 years.This ranch has seen a lot in that time. From famous Old West outlaws who rode this ranch like Black Jack Ketchum to a bombing range during World War II to having African exotic animals like zebras and wildebeest roam its borders when Dr Pepper Snapple leased this entire ranch for its corporate hunting. Our latest story is that we are blessed to have Mohamed Ali’s personal chef and friend, Mike Holdridge, here as our chef.Last weekend, Mike served up axis stew and whitetail chili to the former servicemen.

But it’s when these men are here that I feel the proudest.They are the best story because they bring honor to my doorstep. I know Shea feels the same.We spend months planning this, but isn’t it always in the giving that we receive?The wounded warriors have given me so much.

Their presence brings a sense of reverence…for my country and for their service. Each of them says they’d go back and serve again, knowing they’d lose a leg or both legs or an arm or some mental acuity.They teach us humility by always quietly displaying it.And when they depart, I am left wanting to do more, to help more…knowing nothing I could do would be enough to equal the sacrifices they have made for all of us.

My father served in the Pacific as a Marine in World War II, including time behind enemy lines which left him with PTSD. He went on with it, like all of those men who comprised “the Greatest Generation” did.He told us all to always give back to the veterans. Those guys who were with me that weekend are the greatest generation too.

Military Warriors Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity which provides support and programs to facilitate a smooth and successful transition for our nation’s combat wounded heroes and Gold Star families. Its programs focus on housing and homeownership, recreational activities, transportation assistance and leadership development. To learn more visit: