In Colorado rangeland, the over-populated prairie dog, with its burrowing habits, are considered a nuisance to ranchers, causing harm to their cattle, and can even carry diseases. Coyotes, the prairie dog’s natural predator, have become a dangerous “pest” in the state, as well, keeping landowners worried over their livestock and children.
On this account, Freedom Alliance sent a couple of willing combat vets from Colorado Springs out to Fort Morgan to help with the pest control.
Mitchell served the U.S. Army in Iraq, where a fragment of shrapnel pierced his trachea and damaged his mouth. As a result, the roof of his mouth was replaced with a metal piece.
Then, during a second combat deployment, an explosion tossed him into a wall, injuring his forearm, resulting in limited use of his hand. The bones and muscles in his arm have been replaced with synthetics, rather than having an amputation and prosthetic limb. The problem is that the nerve damage causes constant pain, for which he takes medication.
Mitchell brought his son along for the hunt, and Christian was thrilled to be with his dad to learn hunting/gun safety.
Jason was our other soldier, who also deployed twice to Iraq. It was during the second tour that he broke his thumb. The medics mistook the break for a sprain and the bone weakened so much that he’s lost the use of the appendage, and must wear a brace around his wrist.
Along with a Freedom Alliance escort, Mitchell, Jason, and Christian spent the day walking to various ranches, taking shots at the pesky prairie dogs. As they hunted, the soldiers got to engage one another with their personal stories and compare wounds.
As the sun set, the guys started to call in the coyotes while a storm made its way over the range. Although a phenomenal sight, this movement brought hail and pounding rain, which ended their hunt.
Despite an early finale, the experience was ultimately one of restoration for two comrades in arms—and a boy, who looks up to them—as they shared one day in their journey of coming home from war.