Testimonials

KENT SOLHEIM

Major Kent Solheim was born Nov. 30, 1972 in Oregon City, Oregon and enlisted in the United States Army in 1994.In 2004, Kent graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and subsequently deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On July 27, 2007, Kent was wounded during a firefight in Karbala, Iraq. He sustained four gunshot wounds. Following nearly two years of attempts to salvage his severely damaged right leg, Kent made the difficult decision to amputate. Prior to his injury, Kent was very active, participating and competing in cycling, triathlon, and running events. After his injury, he was unable to continue these passions. Through the help of fellow Wounded Warriors and caring people in his community, Kent discovered hunting. His love for the outdoors and the peace he found being in the woods became an instrumental part of his mental recovery. He shared this with his son, and hunting soon became a new passion that they both have continued to enjoy. Since their first deer hunt in the fall of 2007, Kent and his son have had the privilege of hunting with close friend and founder of Patriot Hunts Ken Barnard. It is through organizations like Patriot Hunts that Wounded Warriors learn to adapt to their disabilities, learn that healing can come through more than just medicine, and that Americans do appreciate sacrifices made in the name of freedom.


KEN KATTER

SGT Kenneth Katter was born Dec. 6, 1966 in Saginaw, Michigan and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1990. Ken was an infantryman during his first year in the Marines and later passed the indoctrination to qualify for 3rd Marine Recon. During Ken’s time in Recon he went through several schools to include Amphibious Reconnaissance School, Airborne School, Sniper School, Scuba School, and was later chosen by his commander to represent Recon and shoot for the Hawaiian Marine Rifle and Pistol Team where Ken won several matches and received two medals to include the Finn Trophy Pistol Match and a Division Service Medal first place shooting the M-14.

Ken later left the Marine Corps to finish a college degree in Criminal Justice. Ken worked for the Saginaw County Sheriff Department as a scuba diver and Marine Patrol,  Birch Run Police Department and 4 years with Bridgeport Police Department before he felt a need to come back into the service to once again serve his country.

At 38 years old Ken joined the United States Army in May, 2005 as a 19D Cavalry Scout. Shortly after arriving to Fort Bragg  Ken was sent to assist in the humanitarian effort of Hurricane Katrina with his new command 3-505 airborne infantry which later cased their colors and were named 5-73 RSTA reconnaissance, surveillance , target ,  acquisition. Ken was then sent to Air Assault School and upon graduation he went back to Fort Bragg to train up for a 15 month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On Ken’s 8th month of deployment he was injured from an IED blast leaving him with ruptured eardrums, severe concussion,  ruptured disc in his lower back and neck. Ken stayed with his platoon for the remaining 7 months working as the platoon’s sniper and team leader. Ken sought treatment for his injuries after returning home and was subsequently assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion.

Ken has been an outdoorsman hunting, fishing and trapping all of his life. Ken hasn’t hunted for the past 2 years due to his injuries but with the support of family and organizations like Patriot Hunts founded by Ken Barnard, Ken is able to return to the outdoor life that he once enjoyed.


BILL COLWELL

I was wounded in Iraq during a QRF mission. I was the gunner in my team’s humvee when an IED was denoted sending shrapnel into my brain through my right brow. I have come a long way from being able to breathe on own again to walking and reading. This injury left me feeling hopeless and alone. I felt like I could not accomplish any of my dreams. I just wanted to stay in my easy chair and kill people on the X-Box. My wife encouraged me to go on several hunts that Patriot Hunts had offered me in the past and she finally got me to go to the pheasant hunt where I realized how much life I was letting go by and how much enjoyment I got out of hunting and meeting people again. Without the constant contact from Patriot Hunts and the “badgering” of my wife I would still be in the same position and not seeing what enjoyment I could get out of the outdoors again. I was encouraged also to go on a swan hunt, first one ever, with Patriot Hunts and although it was only a day and a half it left me feeling like there was life after injury.
 
I would like to thank Patriot Hunts for helping me overcome a hurdle in my life that I did not even realize was there.

DAVE HARGITT

Dave Hargitt spent his youth in rural, northern Indiana, surrounded by hard wood groves, and hundreds of square miles of corn and soybeans. He grew up hunting and fishing, and passionately embracing the spiritual side of nature and its effect on one’s sole. Dave inlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard in 1987. He attended basic training, advanced individual training, and Airborne training at the Army’s most prestigious school for boys, Fort Benning, Georgia. He entered active duty in October 1989, with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade, 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment.

On the 6th of August 1990, Dave found himself bound for the Persian Gulf. He spent the next 8 months prepearing for what would be known as “Operations Desert Storm”. When Dave came back from Desert Shield/Storm, he spent the next 3 years, finishing his initial enlistment, in the 82nd. Dave left active duty to attend Purdue University on an ROTC scholarship where he graduated and commissioned in 1997.Subsequently, Dave has been back to Iraq 3 times in, 2003,2004,and 2007. In years prior to this he had noticed a tremor in his right arm and leg which he dismissed. By late 2006 he realized something was wrong, but knowing soldiers were relying on him, once again he packed his bags to deploy.His team sergant began to notice physical abnormalities and had Dave sent to Landstuhl, Germany for evaluations by neurologists. Dave was sent back to Ft. Bragg in 2008 where he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Dave’s struggle does not get any easier, every day that passes, he looses more of himself to this disease. Nonetheless, his passion for the outdoors was rekindled through an experience with Patriot Hunts. An experience Dave shared with his wife Jamie and their 2 sons.

Dave said: “Patriot Hunts allowed me to spend quality time with my family. They gave me the opportunity to introduce my children to the experience of hunting. Plus, I was able to do this all in the company of heroes. Patriot Hunts provides a therapy for wounded service members that can’t be found anywhere else. Thank you Ken and Patriot Hunts. You have touched and changed the lives of many, for which you will not be forgotten.”


1SGT. TREVOR PETERSON

Trevor Peterson says:

December 4, 2010, I attended my second Patriot Hunts event. It was at the Allen Brothers Hunting Preserve and had the opportunity to take my son along. This is the first time my son had been out to hunt with me. It wasnt actually a hunt, but it was a great time for Wounded Warriors to attend an event and bring family members to share in a day of great company, great food, and the chance to teach and mentor new shooters. The smile on my 13 year old son’s face told the story of the day. We had a great day of bonding and learning together. The Allen Brothers were excellent hosts and worked with a local church group to provide 5 star treatment to Wounded Warriors and our families. These are the kind of events that allow us to pass along some of our passions as sports men, that most of us could not do on our own due to physical limitations. Thank you Patriot Hunts, Combat Vets Motorcycle Association, the parachute freefall team, Allen Brothers, and their community friends, your support is second to none. Keep up the good work, and thank you again, Trevor Peterson.


MATT LYNOSKI

  1. Letter forwarded from a wounded veteran, Matt:
  2. Ken, you have no idea how happy I am to get this news and my wife is in tears. December 5th is my anniversary date for joining the military so that time holds a special meaning to me. I’ll make it no matter what to the meet & greet @ 9am and I’ll be able to drive myself (or my wife will drive depending on how I am when I wake up that morning) to the event as long as I have a good address for the GPS. I’ll be sure to knock the dust off of my field gun and I still have at least a box of high brass #6 pheasant loads along with an orange upland game vest. Is this a tower shoot or will there be walking involved? Is there an e-mail newsletter for the Patriot Hunts? I am happy that I did find the site but at the same time I’m a bit disappointed for coming around this late in the game. Again, THANK YOU for allowing me this great oppertunity. It’s been a long time that I actually had something to look forward to.
  3. Thanks, Matt

This letter is from an injured soldier, Matt that attended a Pheasant Shoot we had December 4th, at Allen Brothers Hunting Preserve. I just wanted to share this, and let Husky Liners know that their continued support helps us provide for these soldiers..
This gentleman will eventually loose the use of his legs.
Thank you all!

Ken, I just wanted to thank you for organizing such an excellent event and inviting me to be a part of it. I am truly humbled that the volunteers and donors give so much to people that they don’t even know or will more than likely won’t see for a long time (or even ever again). The Allen Brothers are extremely generous to host/donate the event and make it a yearly thing. I felt very welcome and everyone was so nice to me…I don’t remember that I experienced kindness at that level before. The tower hunt was really unique and was nothing like I expected. It was fast paced and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Personally I prefer to hunt behind a good bird dog but I don’t think that my body can do what my mind wants anymore as it’s almost midnight and I still feel I was violently thrown 10 flights of stairs from only walking in a big circle, and that’s still after enough percocets & oxycodone to kill a horse. I will more than likely won’t be able to sleep in a bed for a day or 2, but I wouldn’t have changed anything without a second thought. I’m not a person who typically expands more than “thank you” but I hope you can see that I really had the time of my life and truly appreciate all of the efforts that you and the volunteers have done…I am honestly touched. I really hope that I will be able to attend future events or even something simple that will get me out of the house for a few hours. You are a good man and I would be honored to call you a friend. Thanks, Matt


JACK JUSTICE

Jack Justice says:

What an incredible day to honor our nation’s heros! Once again, the Allen Brothers Hunting Preserve hosted a premiere event for our Wounded Warriors. I am a proud supporter of Patriot Hunts and I must say that Pam & Ken Barnard are true patriots that everyone should emulate. Their passion is sincere and I am so proud to call them my friends. Looking forward to the next event and I thank you for everything you do for our soldiers.

 


KEN BARNARD-PATRIOT HUNTS

Ken Barnard-Patriot Hunts says:

Happy New Year to all at Husky Liners! Thanks for the continued support of Patriot Hunts and our mission. We look forward to 2011, and already have a number of events planned once again. This past year was filled with a great number of high’s and low’s to say the least. The low’s being, listening and hearing heartbreaking stories from these soldiers and their families of the setbacks, the injuries, and the loss that many of them have experienced, whether through their own experiences, or that of a fellow soldier or the lose of a brother in arms. Being involved with the Gold Star Families of fallen soldiers is something we had not counted on, but are truely humbled and blessed to be a part of their lives. When we host these families, I may be crying on the inside knowing their stories, but I am rejoycing on the outside, knowing they are all so excited to be there, possibly their first time in the field, and also knowing if their dads could see them now,they would be so proud of their kids, seeing how much fun they are having, at least on this day. We can never, ever replace their dads, but what we can do is give these children, our time and efforts, and a opportunity to experience what their dads loved to do, and let them decide for themselves if this is something they wish to pursue in life. Seeing these soldiers walking with canes, or even worse, the lose of a limb, sometimes seeing the pain on their faces just from standing or sitting, is very hard at times. These warriors may be hurting on the inside, but they are smiling on the outside, and having the time of their lives. They constantly endure the pain of their injuries and take the time to come out and be with Patriot Hunts, the least I can do is put my emotions aside during these events, which is hard, and press forward making sure they have the best time possible. What a great feeling…
Thank you all for the support


BEAU WALKER

After eighteen years of military service, I was injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. I was awarded the Purple Heart and sent home to deal with the recovery process that is still very much a part of my life today. I went into social seclusion and really didn’t want to be around anyone except my wife and children. The struggles we faced during the time immediately following the deployment were dark times for everyone. I had no real hobbies and couldn’t find solace even in sleep. I was invited by Mr. Barnard to go on a bear hunting trip on the coast of North Carolina. I wasn’t too sure about it at first and was very cautious to even take him up on the offer. That was a trip that changed my life. Not only because of the hunting, but because of the fellowship. Meeting other Soldiers that had lost so much, but could laugh so hard. Meeting Families and becoming part of one. Patriot Hunts isn’t just a hunting group, it is a selfless organization that taught me I wasn’t alone, that my Family wasn’t alone and we could be part of something far bigger than ourselves. From volunteering at Surviving Family events to Kids Day, I cannot think of a safer place to be than with the Patriot Hunt Families. My wife and children love to come along and help out, we always know it will be a fun experience with lifetime memories. If it wasn’t for Ken and the boys, Pam and the Families, I am not sure where we would be today.


 


Patriot Hunts is dedicated to providing outdoor experiences for our Wounded Warriors, and Gold Star children of fallen heroes. With all of us sportsman and Patriots working together, we truly can make a difference in the life of a soldier who has chosen to lay his life at the altar of freedom on our behalf. These men and women have not only paid a physical and mental price, some have paid the ultimate price, for their fellow man. The cost of freedom is not measured in dollars, and it is paid for by patriots in our armed forces, by their courage, their commitment, and their willingness to stand in harms way for this country.

Stepping up and either volunteering or through your generous donations we can give back to the children of our fallen brothers, and help give them the guidance that their parent they have lost would have loved to be here to do. So it is with great pride and honor that we even have this opportunity and accept this challenge to reach out a helping hand.

The thought of a single Gold Star child being forgotten, and never having the opportunity to witness a sunrise from a duck blind, or hear a turkey gobble after flying down from the roost, or see a flock of geese fly over a deer stand while hunting, is just heartbreaking, so help us to make that dream come true for these deserving kids that have been devastated by lose, by donating.

Helping to empower Gold Star Children of fallen heroes through outdoor therapy. 

By supporting this effort, your giving so many deserving kids an opportunity to experience things through hunting & fishing they may have never been given the chance to.

Take the time to help give back to those soldiers who have sacrificed so much.

www.patriothunts.com

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