ALLEN COUNTY — Jacob Tate, originally from Toledo, now lives in Shawnee Township. He was in the U.S. Army for seven years and was forced into retirement after receiving wounds on the battlefield.
“An RPG came through the door of the Humvee and detonated inside the truck,” said Tate.
He saw action in the Sadr City/Baghdad area of Iraq in 2004 and 2005.
“I took a bullet in the chest and ricocheted into the head,” said Tate.
Tate was one of 30 disabled veterans who took part in the 11th annual Lt. Col. Ted Epple Veterans with Disabilities Bow Hunt over the weekend in Allen County. Tate and a couple of others were on Husky Energy property on Adgate Road Sunday morning.
“We started at the tank plant (11 years ago). We had eight vets and one other hunter there. Last year we had 48 hunters, our biggest year,” said Joe Sawmiller an organizer of the hunt.
This gives the disabled veterans a chance to hunt where they might not by themselves.
“It’s amazing what some people will do to help us get out and do this kind of thing. The time, the money, the effort. You can feel the love that they bring to it,” said Tate.
More than a dozen deer were harvested over the weekend.
Even though Tate didn’t bag any deer, the event is not so much about hunting as it is building camaraderie with other veterans.
“It’s great to see old friends, to get together with fellow veterans and talk about our experiences. It’s kind of a healing process. As far as being out in the woods, it’s peaceful. It’s quiet, you know, you just kind of get away and escape,” said Tate.
Jason Carnahan, a former U.S. Marine hails from Fremont.
He was injured in a training exercise in 2002. He’s had 17 knee surgeries and had his vertebrae fused.
He’s been at every bow hunt since the beginning.
“I’m serving my country and coming out and seeing that civilians still care and still love to take care of one another and do good things for each other. It’s what makes you want to serve in the military because you know someone will take care of you and still show you a good time,” said Carnahan.
Carnahan, like Tate, didn’t come away with any deer.
“It’s not about that. It doesn’t matter. I know they probably want (the deer population) controlled but sometimes you’re just there to watch the show. That’s all it is. Mother Nature at her best,” Carnahan added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.