With the goal of showing appreciation to injured veterans, once again the Savannah River Site’s Wounded Warriors Deer Hunt, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, began. The event began Friday and continues today, hosted by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

“There’s no doubt that this is one of the highlights of our hunting season,” said Ed Spears, SRNS deer hunt coordinator. “A lot of these participants were very active before they were injured and have a passion for the outdoors. We’re honored to be able to offer them this opportunity.”

Spears noted that many of the hunters are residents of other states; however, most are receiving treatment and rehabilitation services from Augusta VA Medical Center.

“This is so amazing,” said Sgt. Andrew Appelberg, U.S. Army, wounded in Kandahar, Afghanistan. “Two days away from the Eisenhower Army Medical Center hunting with my friends in the forest means so much to us. We really appreciate all the work that went into making this possible.”

Each of the 25 disabled hunters had a volunteer escort to assist them into position and to fulfill other hunting-related needs.

“I’ve been volunteering to help with deer and turkey hunts at SRS for years now,” said Gene Chriswell, SRNS Crane Inspections Department. “It’s quite an honor to serve those who have not only put their lives on the line for our country, but were also seriously wounded in the process. It’s all about giving back.”

A banquet dinner was held on Friday and a lunch today in honor of the nation’s wounded warriors.

SRNS manages the annual deer hunt program for the U.S. Department of Energy and provides all the necessary equipment needed to participate.