Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wounded Warrior Project - duck hunt report

WWP's Chris Uggiano and Vietnam veteran Alex Miller after the hunt
WWP hunters and their guides with lots of ducks after the hunt
The Wounded Warrior Project's (WWP) mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. With one war ending in Iraq and another war winding down in Afghanistan, there is no better time to thank our veterans and Wounded Warriors. Chris Uggiano is a regional coordinator for physical health and wellness  from the WWP, and is based at Fort Bragg. WWP and Patriot Hunts accepted the invitation to bring four Wounded Warriors and sixteen active duty soldiers to the Santee Delta for a special Dec. 12 duck hunt. That invitation was issued by the Georgetown Chapter of Ducks Unlimited in parternership with the plantations of the Santee Delta that actually hosted these deserving waterfowlers. The premise began when Dan Ray of Annandale Plantation asked himself what more could he do to thank our wounded warriors, so he picked up the phone and soon was in contact with the top brass at DU HQ in Memphis, as well as the WWP leadership. When neighboring landowners agreed to join in this idea to sponsor a hunt, then the Inaugural Wounded Warrior duck hunt in the Santee Delta was moved into execution mode. Sunday night included a catered supper for the Warriors which was followed by a special auction and country music concert. Celebrity Rusty Wallace and driver-son Steven Wallace were present to shake hands with Warriors and to donate items, while Nashville recording artists Lee Brice (Curb Records) and Tyler Farr (Sony Records) flew in to join local crooner Phillip Lammonds for the concert. After an overnight stay on the plantations, the Warriors and their guides fanned out into duck blinds with high hopes of successful duck hunting. Cloudy, cold and windy conditions cooperated nicely and the ducks flew well - with a mixed bag of gadwall, black ducks, pintails, wood ducks, a mottled duck, green-winged teal and blue-winged teal being harvested. After the hunt, I spoke with a Warrior named  Jim (last name withheld)  who told me that he had not smiled this much in a long time!! He also added that he was keen to go deer hunting again too, after three years of service in West Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is recovering well, after a traumatic brain injury. In summary, this hunt was all about getting the Warriors into the outdoors to enjoy the positive dividends of a duck hunt. However, taken as a whole, the entire event exceeded all expectations. To view blog entries from successive hunts in the Santee Delta click 2012 or 2014. To view a blog entry from the ACE Basin veterans duck hunt click 2013.

Willie and Jason, Organizer Dan Ray, Scot

For more photos from the 2011 Wounded Warrior Project duck hunt click here.

To view my feature article on the 2014 S.C. Duck Stamp click here.

To view blog entries from past Santee Delta duck hunts click here.

DU staffers James Meadows, Jim West and Brett Baker


  1. A very special thanks to Ken Barnard of PATRIOT HUNTS for putting this together for the soldiers of Fort Bragg!!!

  2. High five for Dan and all who had a part in this great celebration at Annandale Plantation! As a viet nam veterian we never received such as what DU and other sponcers put on for these brave soldiers that sacrificed all as we all did for this great country and should be greatful for what took place here.I also would like to acknowledge Bill Mace for all his hard work for the fine job he does toward making it possible for the duck pond work he does. IF it weren't for his hard work they wouldn't haD the ducks to shoot.Thanks to all the folks who made this possible.

  3. Special kudo's to Ken Barnard and PATRIOT HUNTS for making this such a special event. The sixteen Bad Ass Special Operators that came down from Ft. Bragg remind us all why we are able to sleep in peace each and every night!!

    De Oppresso Liber.....and God Bless America!!

  4. Just want to thank you for your time and let you know that I have not had such a great time with a great group of people. Hope to see you soon and if you should ever want to see how the Warrior Transition Battalion runs please let me know and we can work out something. Fort Bragg is such a nice place.

  5. You interviewed me the morning after the hunt at breakfast. The men that put together this outing, donated their time, money, homes and land for us to use, which was very overwhelming for me. I am still, three days later, just amazed, and admittingly a slight bit emotional, at the amount of care, and dare I say love, that went into our visit. The great time I had during this outing will be one of the memories that I will cherish, and look fondly upon, for the rest of my life. My thanks goes to all of those that helped make this experience possible.

  6. The active duty soldiers from Ft Bragg were awesome!! Special thanks to Ken Barnard of PATRIOT HUNTS for having such a special outreach mission and for making this type of experience possible. As a landowner, my highest expectations were exceeded. The guys that hunted with us onthe Santee Delta were incredible patriots and remind us all how special our military is and what incredible Americans we have defending this great country.

  7. My name is Robert Fitl. I am currently finishing a documentary in Toronto about collectors and their collectibles. One of our subjects concerns decoy ducks and we’ve been searching for some high-res photographs of decoy ducks, duck hunters, hunting dogs, etc. I noticed that your website actually has an array of wonderful photos and was wondering if you had any we could feature in our film. Here is a link to the doc.

    The site isn’t much to look at right now, but we’ve all been busy meeting our deadline (Oct 24th, eesh). Hopefully this email reaches you. Take care and thank you for your time. I can be reached at my personal email,

  8. Good to hear from you Robert. I couldn't get your website to pop up, so I'll send an email your way. Thanks for the positive feedback.


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