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VETERANS CREATE LASTING MEMORIES ON DEER HUNTING TRIP - KOAM TV 7

VETERANS CREATE LASTING MEMORIES ON DEER HUNTING TRIP

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Lopez lost use of a leg in a motorcycle accident, but the Iraq veteran is excited to use a military style action track chair to go hunting.

“It was epic. I couldn't have asked for a better hunt because you're always worried that you're not going to shoot it the right way, you're going to mess up somehow, or make too much noise, which we made enough noise. But, one shot, one kill. She dropped. It was nice," says Lopez.

Lopez is one of a dozen wounded warriors here for a weekend of hunting in Nashville, Missouri.

She says like many veterans its tough settling back in to civilian life. But going hunting with the other veterans helps.

“You get that family back, and especially with Peterson Outdoors. I've only been here 24 hours and I already feel like god is surrounding all of us, I have a family, and I know that I'm gonna leave here with lifelong partners."

Lopez even uses her prosthetic as a prop to shoot her rifle.

Soldiers came from all across the US for this deer hunting retreat. And for many, like Specialist Lopez, it was their first time shooting a buck.

"It was a lot of fun. I had a great time. I had some great guides that were able to put me on some deer. It was two shots and two deer, so it was awesome," says Army Corporal Robbie Cadena.

"Getting a chance to speak with other veterans and hear their stories…it's nice to be able to share your story with someone who has experienced something that's similar,” says Army veteran Curtis Lewis.

Peterson Outdoor Ministries feels it's important to bring veterans together doing things they enjoy to help combat PTSD.

Outdoor Ministry Founder Tron Peterson says "This event is extremely important to us because right now in the United States there are twenty two suicides a day among our American veterans.”

The retreat not only brought together troops, but their entire families.

In Nashville, Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM NEWS.

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