Wounded Warrior outing canoes the Green River

Story by Sgt. David Bolton, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

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Kentucky National Guard wounded warriors were treated to a two-day canoe trip on the Green River, July 28-29, 2012. Together with Soldiers from Fort Knox and staff from Western Kentucky University, the group enjoyed fishing, camping and paddling on the river. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed)

MUNFORDVILLE, Ky.—  In the early hours of a Kentucky summer morning, a group of about 20 individuals slid their canoes into the Green River at Stovall Park and began to paddle.  Among these individuals were students and staff from Western Kentucky University, Soldiers from Fort Knox, and Kentucky National Guard wounded warriors.From July 28 to July 29, the group covered 15 miles of waterways, 10 of which were traveled on the first day alone.  The day started out with the WKU students and staff paddling while the wounded warriors fished but by the end of the day those roles had reversed.

At the end of the day the group set up camp at a lodge on WKU’s 2,000 acre test farm to spend the night.

“The Kentucky Wounded Warrior Project tries to reach out to as many wounded guardsmen as we can,” said Kentucky National Guardsman Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed, Small Arms Readiness Trainer for Joint Force Headquarters, and Kentucky Wounded Warrior Project volunteer.  “We try to involve them in as much as we can because it’s all about taking care of our wounded warriors.”

The Wounded Warrior Project tries to maintain contact and invite these service members to family outings across the state at picnics, change of command ceremonies, and golf scrambles.

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A group of Kentucky National Guard wounded warriors, Soldiers from Fort Knox and staff members from Western Kentucky University gathered on the Green River for a two-day canoe and fishing trip, July 28-29, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed)

According to Reed, all money for these kinds of outings is donated through motorcycle rides, public events, golf scrambles, and bake sales; none of it comes from the National Guard.“It’s a civic and community effort,” said Reed.

Reed said the impact of the trip on the Guardsmen was unique.

“These guys feed off each others energy and emotional highs. It’s unique to see them around a campfire at night.  The healing process that goes on is something really special.”

On November 12th , the 3rd annual white tale deer hunt is slated to take place in Hart county as part of Wounded Warrior Day established by the local magistrates.

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