Wounded Heroes Hunting Camp

 

“Healing on the Hunt”

By Paula Green

            The Wounded Heroes Hunting Camp (WHHC) is an all-volunteer 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping wounded combat veterans heal.  This group strives to get wounded heroes involved in outdoor adventures such as hunting and fishing.  These activities challenge, empower and enable these military heroes to participate in events that they enjoy.

           WHHC was founded in January 2012 by U.S. Marine Corps active duty commissioned officer Jeremy Harbaugh and his friend Zachary Bower, who is an avid outdoorsman. 

            Recently, the Northside Sportsman’s Association hosted the WHHC for their 6th Annual Trap Shoot for Heroes.  The event was held on Saturday, May 20 on Mt. Pleasant Road in Warrendale.  This is WHHC’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and the recent shoot garnered 80 participants, 13 of whom were Wounded Heroes.

            The trap shoot began with a patriotic tribute to 24-year-old fallen soldier Sgt. Joseph D. Caskey who died in Afghanistan on June 26, 2010.  Caskey was raised in West View and graduated from North Hills High School in 2004.  He was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

             Caskey’s brother Sgt. Joshua Caskey of the U.S. Marine Corps was in attendance at the trap shoot.  Joshua was wounded in combat in 2007 and sustained a traumatic brain and spinal injuries when a suicide truck bomb struck his compound.

            Another wounded hero that was in attendance was Bob Szoszorek who dutifully served in Vietnam in 1969.  Szoszorek suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in paralysis of his right side.

             The trap shoot concluded with the Wounded Heroes attending a special patio party at Ditka’s restaurant in Wexford.  U.S. Congressman Keith Rothfus was also at the dinner and spoke with the veterans.

              The Wounded Heroes Hunting Camp is supported by the people of Pittsburgh, and some of the board of directors are North Hills residents.  They include – Dave Bechtold, of Bechtold LLC.; Joe Wadlow, owner of Monte Cello’s restaurant; Peter Roman, professor at Carnegie Mellon; Jeff Kelly of Kelly Financial Group; Paul Culley, of ReMax Corp; and George Bayer, a UPMC physician.

             For more information on WHHC, visit them at www.WoundedHeroesHuntingCamp.org or https://www.facebook.com/WHHCAMP/.

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