War Heroes Receive Tribute from Grateful RMEF Nation
FORT WORTH, Texas — Two disabled veterans of the Iraq War last weekend received a hero’s welcome and tribute from grateful members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
RMEF President and CEO David Allen, outdoor writer and devotee to severely injured servicemen Jim Zumbo, NASCAR’s Richard Childress, Realtree’s Bill Jordan and Dallas Cowboys legend Walt Garrison made special presentations during the Elk Foundation’s 25th annual convention, which concluded March 8 in Fort Worth, Texas.
• U.S. Marine First Lieutenant Andrew Kinard, Spartanburg, S.C./Washington D.C.
• U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Kueser, Garland, Texas/San Antonio, Texas
Both soldiers lost their legs while serving in Iraq. Kinard and three others on foot patrol in western Iraq were wounded in a blast from a buried improvised explosive device. Kueser fell to an enemy mortar round that hit the building where he worked in Tikrit.
Both endured 18 months of surgery and rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Both continue to serve the U.S. military today.
And both are hunters and conservationists.
“We at the Elk Foundation often use the word ‘passion’ to describe our drive and sacrifice to protect what we love, but these guys—and thousands more like them—take the definition of that word to a level that most of us cannot comprehend,” said Allen.
He added, “Whenever we exercise our freedom to hunt, venture into wild country, share the outdoors with our families and friends, or host banquets and fundraisers to raise dollars for things we believe in, let’s remember that none of our passions would be possible without the passion of our servicemen and women.”
The veterans were presented with RMEF life memberships, commemorative rifles and elk head mounts. Both veterans took bulls last fall while hunting from their wheelchairs.
About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.7 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.