Hunting with Veterans and Military Wounded Personnel
To honor those who give their lives for our Freedoms has a tradition in SCI Foundation. Disabled military personnel and veterans are honored at an annual SCI Convention Breakfast. It is a way to say thank you. Many SCI Chapters sponsor hunting trips for veterans and military wounded personnel.
Honoring those who serve at the Annual SCIF Veterans Breakfast, sponsored by Trijicon
By Dan Brooks, SCIF Director of Education and Humanitarian Services
At the 2020 SCIF Veterans Breakfast members and supporters of our military will be able to sponsor a decorated combat veteran to go on a premiere, trophy bull elk hunt on private land in Montana, October 2020. The SCIF Veterans Committee is auctioning a sponsorship for a combat veteran to go on this special designated hunt. The sponsor, the winning bidder of the auction hunt, will be paying to send this year’s Combat Veteran Award recipient, Jonathan Thomas, a 15-year veteran who served as Staff Sargent who was honored with two Purple Heart medals and one Bronze Star V for Valor during his service.
Jonathan has been deployed four times serving two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and two tours in Enduring Freedom. He earned a Purple Heart medal for combat injuries sustained during an ambush during his first deployment to Iraq. He was first wounded by a shot to the chest during his first Tour of Duty, Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2004) that broke his ribs. Jonathan was injured again when an RPG propelled shrapnel in his thigh.
He earned his second Purple Heart and Bronze Star V for Valor during his Tour of Duty, Enduring Freedom (2010-2011) for stopping a suicide bomber. His quick action caused the bomb to detonate early killing the suicide bomber, which saved his company from being wounded or killed. Jonathan was the only one injured during the incident causing injuries to his spinal cord, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost peripheral vision in his right eye. Jonathan was also honored with the Meritorious Service Award for years of service and the Order of Saint Maurice Medallion after his last Tour of Duty. Jonathan is a cancer survivor having battled non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which subsequently ended his military career.
The SCIF Veterans Breakfast including live auction and sweepstakes items will be held in conjunction with SCI’s Annual Hunters’ Convention in Reno, Nevada on Friday, February 7th, doors open at 7:00 am. Entertainment will be performed by Country Music Artist, Michael Peterson. The winning bidder’s sponsorship for Jonathan’s Montana bull elk auction hunt award will be earmarked to pay for his travel expenses, meat processing, taxidermy and shipping. Any remaining funds earned will go directly to a restricted account dedicated to veteran program activities. The sponsor of the hunt will be able to accompany Jonathan as a guest on the hunt, However, the sponsor will be responsible for their own hunting and travel expenses. This auction hunt does not include a hunt for the sponsor.
The SCIF Veterans Committee thanks Trijicon for their generous sponsorship of the Veterans Breakfast. Because of their sponsorship, veterans attend the breakfast for free. Others will pay $40 per ticket. Join us in honoring military service men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedom at this special breakfast. The breakfast will sell out, so get your tickets today! Tickets can be requested and purchased while registering for the show at www.ShowSCI.org or, call the registration hotline toll-free at 888-746-9724, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Arizona Time.
Past Hunt Recipients
2019 Combat Veteran Hunt Recipient – Jeff Wellington
Jeff Wellington, a 34-year veteran and Army Helicopter pilot, was the 2019 recipient of the second annual SCI Foundation Veterans Hunt. Jeff entered the Army in July of 1985. He has been deployed over 42 times on numerous combat missions as a Special Operations Solider. These assignments included Operation Prime Chance (Persian Gulf), Operation Just Cause (Panama), Persian Gulf (Iraq), Enduring Freedom (Afghan), Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve. Jeff has received several Air Medals with valor and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat operations while deployed as part of Operation Gothic Serpent (Somalia, Black Hawk Down).
Jeff’s 6-day bear hunt includes lodging and meals as well as processing, and other incidental expenses. The hunt was gernerously donated by Veteran Committee member Bob Duhadaway and his wife Cathy.
Read more about Jeff here.
2018 Combat Veteran Hunt Recipient – Cody Scriver
Cody Scriver, a nine-year Marine veteran who had participated in over 100 combat missions in Afghanistan, was the 2018 recipient of the first-ever SCI Foundation Veterans Hunt – a Colorado 400-420-point bull elk hunt donated by Trophy Mountain Ranch located near Cowdrey, Colorado.
Watch a video and read about Cody’s hunt here.