Volunteers will greet seven veterans with flags flying and warm Oklahoma hospitality as they take part in the 2017 Mid-America Paralyzed Veterans of America Black Powder Hunt hosted and organized by the River Bottom Sportsmen.
As has become tradition, at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Professional Building at 1 South Main Street in Miami, the participating veterans will receive a grand welcome.
A flag ceremony sets the tone raising the huge, many stories-tall garrison American flag up the side of the Professional Building as a representation of the River Bottom Sportsmen and the community's appreciation for the veterans' service and our nation's freedom.
The River Bottom Sportsmen members welcomes and encourages the community to attend and kick off of the four-day schedule of events.
On the first day of the hunt, the veterans will receive shooting and gun safety instruction from Miami Police Detective David Dean followed by dinner at the Coleman House Restaurant provided by Buffalo Run Casino.
Friday and Saturday will be spent hunting at Rosie and Jack Dalrymple’s Farm along the Neosho River with breakfast, lunch, and dinners provided each day to the hungry hunters and their guides.
Among favorites are squirrel sausage and oyster gumbo and the popular Hog Trough Stew provided by Route 66 Rentals, the event staff, Pizza Hut, the Modoc Tribe, and the Chetopa Fire Department, and NEO A&M College.
While here hunting the veterans and their families are well taken care of staying in lodging provided by Hampton Inn & Suites and receiving numerous welcome gifts from area sponsors.
This year’s veterans hunting in the event include:
Army Veteran Shawn Tracy served from 1968 to 1992. Tracy was paralyzed after a fall in 1992. He served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield as a helicopter mechanic.
Navy Veteran Michael Galloway served from 1974 to 1976. Galloway was paralyzed in an auto accident while home on leave December 1975.
Army Combat Infantry Veteran James “Jim” Fairbanks was wounded in Vietnam June 1969 and received a Purple Heart.
Marine Veteran Dennis McManus served from 1974 to 1980. McManus was injured in 2010 while running heavy equipment.
United States Army Reserves Civil Affairs Specialist Veteran Sheri Carter served from 2008 to 2016. Carter was responsible for preventing and mitigating civilian interference with military operations, helping to plan missions that involved civilians, such as evacuations; and work with civilian aid agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and commercial and private organizations. Carter also assisted with locating civil resources to support military operations, deal with incidents or injuries to non-soldiers, help with humanitarian relief efforts and act as liaisons to civilian agencies such as the Red Crescent Society.
Carter was also entrusted with the responsibility and was assigned as the designated Public Affairs Officer for 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion when she was assigned to the East Africa area of operations. As such, Carter published many articles for the Army to share several of her Company’s successful missions that took place and she was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for this meritorious achievement.
US Marine Corp Veteran Lyle Hensley served from March of 1968 to February of 1969 in country. Hensley served as an artillery radio operator and was attached to Bravo Company 3/9 with forward observers. During his third trip into the Shau Valley, he was wounded and Medevac’d out.
173rd Airborne Brigade 2/503d, B Company Veteran Robert W. Hopper served from 1969 to 1970. Hopper is a member Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He was awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Bronze Star, Army Commendation, Combat Infantrymen Badge, and Parachute Wings 100% Combat Disabled.