Sean is a Marine Corps infantryman we met in 2014 at a lake retreat. He is currently recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving three deployments—one in Iraq and two in Afghanistan—and we’ve seen him make great strides in that battle.
Back in December, Sean’s wife, Megan, who is a Navy veteran herself, contacted us. She hoped we could help find a hunting outfitter in Alaska that might provide a discount for a war veteran.
Megan had been stashing money away for months to be able to send her husband on an Alaskan hunt. It had always been his dream.
We just so happen to know a Marine Corps first sergeant named Josh, who we met when he was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina four years ago. Josh has since been transferred to Anchorage, Alaska, with his law enforcement battalion, and we knew he liked to hunt.
In fact, he’s guided his friends and fellow Marines into the Alaskan wilderness on hunts for bears, moose, and caribou. Josh readily agreed to escort Sean for us.
We told Megan that Freedom Alliance would purchase his airfare and hunting license, if she would cover shipping and/or taxidermy costs if he shot anything.
Sean was over the moon! He posted a reaction to his social media page:
“Next stop…Alaska! Can’t thank my wife Megan and [Freedom Alliance team member] for planning such an amazing adventure I’m about to go on… Thanks to Freedom Alliance … y’all are truly making a major impact to all of us veterans.”
Josh, Sean, and a few other Marines journeyed 1,400 miles over several days. The hunting party used ATVs for 400 of those miles, spent traveling around the Fortymile Wild and Scenic River area.
The nights were quite cold, and the Marines huddled around a fire each night they set up camp. Sean and another veteran unintentionally scorched their boots by coming too close to the flames; they had crossed a stream and were trying to warm their freezing, wet feet.
One member of the party took a moose that week, but the caribou herds remained reclusive.
Despite wet feet and missing caribou, there was no shortage of action, and Sean was ecstatic.
“Didn’t come up with a caribou,” he said, “but it was a blast nonetheless… Have tons of stories and got to know some stellar Marines/hunters.”
Josh told us, “It was an honor to take Sean out, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”