Steve West, the host of Steve’s Outdoor Adventures on the Outdoor Channel, is an expert in his field, with more than 20 years experience as a North American big-game hunter and waterfowl guide.
During the last couple years, he has seen the difference he can make in the life of a wounded veteran by partnering with Freedom Alliance.
Having hosted and befriended Marine Corps veteran and Freedom Alliance beneficiary Dave Hagner during an elk hunt in 2015, Steve has donated more hunts since.
He and Dave scheduled a duck and goose hunt early this year, and they asked Freedom Alliance to send two more Marines to join them in Idaho.
We found Jaime, who served for 12 years, deploying three times to Iraq. After being selected for the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), he was sent on a training mission to Yemen and then Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.
Adrian, a 16-year Marine veteran, was a recon team leader during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. When a mortar exploded nearby, he was flung backward and knocked unconscious. The incident earned him a Purple Heart, as well as serious wounds to his leg, hip, and spine.
Even so, Adrian deployed to Afghanistan with MARSOC. He was medically discharged when a medical evaluation revealed a brain injury and other cumulative damage as a result of combat.
Adrian was at first reluctant to accept our invitation to hunt with Steve.
“I’ve always thought that there was someone else that could use it more,” he said. “I always felt that by going I was taking advantage of something others deserved more.”
But later he realized how much he needed this opportunity:
“I had no idea how beneficial this trip was going to be for me. Just the communication and conversation with two other guys from my old unit opened doors and created ideas that I would have never discovered by myself.
“That different style of camaraderie and humor I haven’t shared since I retired was reignited. I needed that.”
The men spent some snowy days at Steve’s duck club near Boise, Idaho—the conditions perfect for this kind of hunt.
Steve called the hunt “EPIC.” Jaime said it was “good for the soul.”
“Hanging out with Steve, Dave, and Adrian had all the makings for a movie bromance match made in duck heaven,” Jaime said.
Steve highlighted the trip on his TV show’s social media page, giving props to our Marines:
“These guys have more years deployed to foreign soil than imaginable—fighting our battles for us—and it was nothing less than an amazing experience to share a few days in the field with them.”