What is Montana Wounded Warriors and Who is Eligible?
Montana Wounded Warriors was formed to provide residents of the State of Montana, who were wounded as a result of combat service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, with high-quality hunting and fishing opportunities in the state of Montana. These veterans must also have received at least a 30% disability rating from the VA. We are based in Columbia Falls, Montana, near Glacier National Park.
The organization is run by an eight member all-volunteer board. This allows us to maximize the use of donations to serve our Veterans. We have no paid staff in contrast with other organizations who may serve Veterans in some capacity, but whose budget is primarily used to cover fundraising and other administrative costs.
Our mission is to take groups of 2 to 6 wounded Montana Veterans on all-expense-paid hunting and fishing trips where their chances of success are extremely high.
We focus solely on putting these wounded Veterans in a beautiful outdoor setting and giving them the opportunity to bond with others who have walked in their boots. Other organizations may have more resources and skills at dealing with other aspects of these wounded Veterans’ needs but we feel that the abundant natural resources available in Montana combined with a willing group of outdoor enthusiasts allows us to provide these Veterans with an unforgettable, high-quality experience.
These outdoor excursions serve many purposes, including:
- Giving others the chance to thank these men and women for the sacrifice they have made for our country.
- Giving severely injured service people the chance to get out and participate in activities that they may have felt that they would never be able to do again due to their disabilities
- Giving Veterans another opportunity to heal.
Veterans Helping Each Other Heal
The Veterans have told us that the most important aspect of these trips, other than the outdoor opportunity itself, is the chance to get together with other wounded Veterans and talk about what they went through in the field of combat, how they are coping with their wounds, and how they are attempting to transition back into civilian life… in other words it’s part of their healing process.
This healing process may start in a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital with group sessions supervised by medical and military staff but most of the Veterans we have had the honor of helping tell us that the informal setting we provide them where they freely interact with each other is much more helpful then the more structured programs they have been exposed to in the past.
What our fundraising pays for
Our fundraising efforts go towards funding these trips through professional outfitters with high quality food and lodging. Many people would volunteer to provide a place for our participants to fish and hunt, but many of our Veterans have special needs that professional outfitters are better suited to accommodate. Outfitters often provide discounted, and in some cases, free trips for an individual Veteran but due to our goal of taking multiple participants on each trip it is unrealistic to ask these businesses to fund our entire outing. We fundraise year-round in order to provide group trips two or three times per year.
Tax-deductible and low overhead mean maximum adventure for Veterans
We are an IRS-registered 501(c)(3) so any donation you make to Montana Wounded Warriors will be tax deductible. Rest assured that your donations will go toward taking wounded Montana Veterans on outdoor adventures right here in the state of Montana. Other than fees paid to outfitters, we have no paid staff. We believe in serving as volunteers. Thank you for your support.