By Jeanne LeFlore
A local group is raising money to provide hunting gear for wounded soldiers.
Several wounded soldiers have been able join in spring turkey hunts and deer hunts under the Wounded Warrior Program over the last three years with the support of Bureau of Land Management and the Morale Welfare and Recreation department of the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
Previously the hunting gear used by the soldiers would have be borrowed from local hunters.
This year, the McAlester Defense Association is raising money to help buy the hunting gear and equipment for the soldiers to use, according to Gene Walker MDSA assistant chairman.
MDSA is non profit organization that supports, protects and creates, area defense jobs in the McAlester area, according to an MDSA brochure.
“Up to this point, they have depended on funds they have in the MWR budget and the bows and other equipment were loaned to them by local hunters, Walker said.
“And we don’t always know what we’ll have each year or if we will have enough,” he said.
Walker said depending on loaned equipment makes the activity very difficult to plan.
He said key personnel would prefer to make this a regular event, coordinated with Wounded Warriors.
“Complicating continuation and funding, are the cutbacks occurring in the defense department,” Walker said.
The MDSA is helping to raise at least $ 4,000 to purchase crossbows, bolts and broadheads so that the hunts can continue to be offered to the Wounded Warriors, Walker said.
Donations will be accepted until Sept. 19 and can be made by checks to MDSA or by credit card.
“ We do need to get an answer next week if you can help,” Walker said.
Mail checks to MDSA, PO Box 1889, McAlester, 74502 or call by Walker at 918- 424-1486.
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at firstname.lastname@example.org.