Global Rescue Supports Veterans on Hunt of a Lifetime
Five Purple Heart veterans deployed to Alaska for the trip of a lifetime as part of an annual moose outing organized by Safari Club International, nonprofit organizations, a federal agency, and several businesses.
“It was a bucket list item I never thought I could have,” said Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Caldwell (RET) of Olympia, Washington. Caldwell served for 15 years through multiple deployments including Mogadishu Somalia (1993), the invasion of Haiti (1995), Bosnia (1997/1999) and Iraq (2004).
Caldwell was one of the five veterans who participated in the 2020 DM795 Alaska Delta Junction moose event recently, thanks to the efforts of two Safari Club International chapters, two nonprofit organizations, a state department and several businesses, including Global Rescue.
“We combined forces and worked together to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to those who had served and sacrificed so much for us all,” said Cody Scriver, vice president of SCI Northwest Chapter.
Scriver and SCI Alaska Chapter Executive Director Louis Cusack came up with the idea at the Safari Club International (SCI) national board meeting in August 2019. SCI is the country’s leader in advocacy to protect and promote wildlife conservation worldwide and members give back by participating in educational, civic, conservation and humanitarian efforts across the globe.
The event sponsorship had a dual goal: give veterans a true bucket list experience and help maintain the moose population within the 7,200-acre footprint of Fort Greely. It was a perfect match for SCI’s mission.
SCI Northwest and SCI Alaska partnered with Outdoors For Our Heroes (OFOH) to find applicants, assist with financial costs, and handle hunt logistics.
“We streamlined everything to ensure the participants could just focus on the fun and challenges of taking down a prized Alaska moose,” said Tony Leingang, vice president of OFOH. “From arrival in Fairbanks to meat processing and delivery, the team’s goal was for the veterans to enjoy this experience without concern for any of the necessary logistics.”
- Jonathon Harmon, Baltimore, Mar – US Army 82nd Airborne
- Franz Ulrich Walkup, Nashville, TN – US Army 503rd Infantry Regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
- Ryan Caldwell – Olympia, WA – US Army
- Jim Sursely – Apopka, Florida – Past DAV National Commander – US Army 196th Light Infantry Brigade, F Troop, 17th Armored Cavalry Division
- Brady Jackson – North Pole, AK
Sponsors included the Purple Heart Hunters Program (PHHP) and founder/guide Richard Barth; SCI Alaska Chapter and SCI Northwest Chapter; Outdoors For Our Heroes; Delta Meat and Sausage Company; the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; and Global Rescue.
Peace of Mind with Global Rescue
Global Rescue provided five travel protection services memberships at no cost for the seven-day trip. This meant the veterans had access to medical and security advisory services, field rescue from the point of illness or injury, and medical evacuation to their hospital of choice.
“Why Global Rescue??I had a pretty bad experience in Mexico earlier this year and needed medical evacuation which, at the time, we hadn’t elected,” Leingang said. “After some harrowing times and multiple surgeries, two of which occurred before I could return home, it highlighted the value of the type of services Global Rescue provides.”?
“Our board made a decision to insist that on our major disabled veteran events, particularly in cases far from a quick and capable medical response, we needed Global Rescue behind us and the disabled veterans we are here to support.?Thankfully everything came off without any issues. What Global Rescue provides is a small price to pay for peace of mind when it matters most.”
“I’ve always been amazed by the Alaska terrain and wildlife. This trip gave me a new skill set, and being outdoors is extremely therapeutic,” Caldwell said.