By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The Oklahoma branch of National Wild Turkey Federation plans a special concert in Enid March 9 to benefit the organization’s Wounded Warrior Fund.
The band Whiskey Myers will perform at Chisholm Trail Expo Center. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, or $15 with proof of Wild Turkey Federation membership.
Field representative Gary Purdy, of Enid, said the Wounded Warrior Program is an outreach program of NWTF to help physically challenged people to get them back outdoors and enjoying it. There is a specialty line of equipment, such as all-terrain wheelchairs and similar equipment, available for physically challenged people.
“We try to provide outdoor opportunities to physically challenged people who did not think they could get back outdoors again,” Purdy said.
Nine years ago, NWTF partnered with the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Sill. That unit deals with wounded soldiers who have gone through rehabilitation or still are going through rehabilitation. They are at the point they will be transitioned back into their units to continue their careers or out of the military, depending on the severity of their injuries and how they have recovered, he said.
“We partnered with them, and they have a pool of individuals who needed our help. We wanted to use this program as a way to say thank you for the price these folks have paid,” Purdy said.
There are many soldiers who have been taken on deer, turkey and pheasant hunts, bass fishing, archery, clay target shooting and float trips down the Illinois River. Purdy said the program is a rewarding experience.
“I have never done anything so rewarding than to watch their faces light up when they discover they can do things they did before. Most were active before their injuries but have given up having that excitement again. It’s so awesome,” Purdy said.
The program includes members of all military branches. The program has become so popular it is draining NWTF’s financial ability to continue, and the concert is a way to expand it and include more people, Purdy said.
Anyone who wants to donate to the program should make checks payable to the National Wild Turkey Federation, and send them to Becky Evans, state treasurer, P.O. Box 838, Atoka, OK 74525. Earmark the donations to the Wounded Warrior Program.