From October 18th through the 21st last week I was not working down at Tails of the Hunt Outfitters and I was not in the woods pursuing a monster buck. However, I was on base at Camp Dodge here in Iowa to fulfill my weekend drill for the Iowa Army National Guard. It is a time for me to step back from my hectic life and train to become a better infantryman. The great thing about being in the infantry is that you have to be a good shot with your rifle and shooting my M-4 rifle at the range is the best part of drill. We went to the qualification range and it was 30 mph and raining the entire time. I put on my Wiley X Valor eye protection and not once did they fog up or get to blurry from all the rain water. That made a huge difference for me! I hit 35 out of 40 targets (not my best but I’ll take it given the circumstances).
It is easy for any human being to get caught up in their everyday life and forget about the little things that truly matter in life; being with family, friends, and of course hunting. I left in 2008 for my basic training and advanced training and I was gone from September 23rd to January 23rd. Any hunter in Iowa will realize the problem with this…it is exactly right before and right after the deer hunting season. That was one of the hardest parts of being away from home and yes that is how much I love deer hunting. Being able to go through this training down at Fort Benning, Georgia allowed me to realize that I can never take for granted all of the amazing things I have in my life and being able to hunt every year.
There are deployed Soldiers all over the world who are just like you and I, who have an undeniable love to be in the great outdoors, who will not be able to do so this fall. As this season is upon us it is easy to forget about the brave Soldiers overseas right now defending our great nation who are away from their family, friends, and tree stands. It is even more important to remember and honor those who have fallen and gave their life so you and I have the opportunity to live our life to the fullest and truly enjoy our lives. So, do just that and never take anything you have for granted.
It is the beginning of the week now and back to work I go. I hope to be able to hit the woods again soon but for now it is time to work. Be safe out there and keep the military service members of United States of America in your thoughts and prayers.