For 32 years, the Annual Grand National Waterfowl Hunt has been held in Cambridge, Maryland. This site is also home to Charles A. Porter Hopkins, who was once a representative in the Maryland legislature.
Porter, as he is known commonly, has donated three dove hunts on his farm to Freedom Alliance, and so, when a space opened up in the Grand National Waterfowl Hunt for a military service member, he contacted us to find a hunter.
We sought out Master Gunnery Sergeant Ricardo, a retired Marine with more than 20 years of service. Ricardo was disabled during a combat deployment in Afghanistan, but he is also a founding member of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and a formidable fighter.
(Ricardo’s son, a recent graduate of Liberty University in Virginia, was a recipient of a Freedom Alliance scholarship.)
The Grand National Waterfowl tournament, in Dorchester County, Maryland, comprises a long weekend of early-morning hunts, which are flanked by breakfasts and lunches, and finally capped off by an awards banquet and reception.
Another new shooter, Dick Cheney, was partnered with Ricardo for the first day of duck hunting. “He’s a pretty good shot,” Ricardo said confidently of the former vice president.
The second day was a goose hunt; although Ricardo didn’t get a shot off, Porter Hopkins invited him out to his property for another try, and our Marine took three geese that evening.
“[Porter] has a hunter’s paradise on his property. He wants me to come back and hunt some more, and I will,” promised Ricardo.
The Grand National Waterfowl event coordinators asked the sergeant to come again next year, and he said he would, and that next time he would bring some of his military comrades.