Local Hunters Take Wounded Soldiers Hunting
Members of Fatboy Outfitters, a group of local hunters, were contacted less than 30 days ago by the Warrior Transition Battalion to host a hog hunt for a group of soldiers currently stationed in military medical treatment facilities in El Paso. They agreed to do it, and last Wednesday, August 7, 18 soldiers arrived in Lexington.
These soldiers, and others like them, are in the Wounded Transition Program due to injuries they suffered during war, some of which were life threatening and which resulted in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairments and functional disability. The program facilitates treatment of their injuries and helps to prepare and reintegrate the soldier back into military and home life. All of the soldiers who came to Lexington are still undergoing medical treatment for their injuries. In fact, military medics traveled with them to ensure their health was never compromised during their visit to Lee County.
They arrived in Lexington Wednesday evening, and were escorted to the home of Derek and Misty Schumpert, who made their barn a makeshift hotel during their stay. The Fatboys made sure the barn was air conditioned, even setting up makeshift showers for them. That night, they enjoyed the first of many hog hunts during their stay.
On Thursday morning, after an early morning hunt, they were treated to breakfast at the Lexington Masonic Lodge, where Tommy Ramsey helped his father and other Masons cook omelets to order for the hungry soldiers. Subway provided lunch on Thursday and a fish fry was prepared for them that night at the Schumpert’s before they went out for another evening hunt. They split into three groups Thursday night, hunting on three different leases used by Fatboys.
Friday morning, after another hunt, Bobby Rodgers and other members of the American Legion, prepared breakfast for the 16 men and 2 women. That night, a few members of Holy Family Catholic Church, including Johnny Speier, Ace Blankenburg, and Michael Bartkovak, cooked chicken at the Footprints Ranch near Tanglewood. Following dinner, the soldiers enjoyed another hog hunt at the Ranch.
Saturday morning, they hunted again on the Fatboy leases before being treated to lunch at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. That night, steaks were cooked for them at the Garry Brown property, courtesy of Weatherford Oil Company. They enjoyed the last hunt of their stay that night at the Brown property, and got up Sunday morning, leaving before noon.
Jordan Bexley said, “It was a great experience and definitely gave you that warm fuzzy feeling for doing something good for someone besides yourself. It was an eye-opening experience. We heard many heart breaking, and heartwarming, stories from the soldiers. Warrior Transition has asked us to consider making this an annual event and we’ve decided that we really do want to continue doing this.”
“Nobody got hurt and everyone had a good time. It was amazing. So many people helped. There was a huge outpouring from the community for these guys. We could not have done it without all the help,” Bexley continued.
Fatboy Outfitters came to be simply because a group of friends, who love to hunt hogs with dogs, had to come up with a name so they could enter hog hunting tournaments around the state. Members of Fatboy Outfitters include Jordan Bexley, Clayton Brown, Derek Schumpert, Abel Lara, and Blane Rodgers, all from Lexington.