This fall, Freedom Alliance was proud to partner again with Cypress Creek Hunting Lodge to host twelve veterans and servicemen to a deer and hog hunt.
Situated in the South Carolina Lowcountry, the lodge is a Southern trip back in time, when the days were unhurried and folks sat drinking sweet tea on shaded porches. It really is an idyllic refuge for a soldier to come and forget all his worries.
The owners, Danny and Becky Harrell, offer us deeply discounted rates, so that we can send military service members to Cypress Creek twice a year to hunt. Even with a hurricane looming off the coast, this fall’s hunting retreat was right on par with our past stays at the lodge.
The men boarded in the Harrells’ stately nineteenth-century restored farmhouse and enjoyed the Southern home-cooked meals we’ve come to anticipate at Cypress Creek.
The hunters set out early, and the first morning saw some action for Drew, a soldier who deployed to Iraq twice.
Drew is medically retired and attends a program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Since we know the program officers, they introduced Drew to Freedom Alliance and we got him in on this event.
His first deer ever was a buck he shot that morning at Cypress Creek, while sitting quietly in a deer stand.
Another Drew, a Marine who deployed twice to Afghanistan, also got his first deer during this trip while on an evening hunt.
We hosted two active-duty Marines from a law-enforcement battalion in Anchorage, Alaska: First Sergeant Josh and Gunnery Sergeant Glen. These two recently guided a caribou hunt in their neck of the woods, so that Freedom Alliance could send a medically retired Marine on the Alaskan hunt he’d always dreamed about.
Avid hunters, Josh and Glen insisted on harvesting themselves the two deer Glen shot at Cypress Creek.
Two instructors from the Marine Corps base Quantico in Virginia, Scotty and Cody, brought bows to the hunt. Both have suffered injuries from combat, and Cody, a marksmanship instructor, is awaiting his medical discharge after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Matt is a disabled Air Force veteran who initially connected us with Cypress Creek, which is a home-away-from-home for him. Matt has told us that Freedom Alliance saved his life and his marriage, and we are delighted to see how well he is doing when we meet him at these hunts.
Matt shot a hog during this trip and gave half the meat to the Marines to take back to their families in Alaska.
Scotty, one of the Marines from Quantico, served in Afghanistan and later became a scout sniper instructor at the Weapons Training Battalion on base. He has endured two brain surgeries after exposure to blasts while serving overseas.
He posted this review on greatnonprofits.org:
“I have been recovering from medical injuries during my time of service, and this trip opened new doors to friendships and other marines who had the same experiences. I am forever thankful for Freedom Alliance and all they do for our combat veterans.”
When it was all said and done, the vets had taken six deer and one hog. And in between all the hunting, the men enjoyed the rifle range, skeet shooting, naps(!), fire-pit conversation, and warm meals at the dinner table.
Next year will mark the fifth year Freedom Alliance has included Cypress Creek in our Outdoor Adventure series!