Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Connor
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Fort Campbell, KY – Saturday morning brought cool temperatures and brisk winds, but that didn’t hinder the excitement among Screaming Eagle Soldiers who were selected to be a part of the annual turkey hunt here, hosted by the Military Officers Association of America.
Dressed in camouflage and armed with duck calls and rifles, nearly 60 Veterans and Soldiers from around the Fort Campbell area gathered at Kyle Lake. The focus of the event, build bonds based on shared passions between the young and experienced . . . and to hunt turkeys of course.
“I’ve never been hunting before, so I was kind of a little bit nervous and a little bit scared but excited to do something new,” said Spc. Faith Breeden, a 13B Cannon Crew Member with 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery. “Proud Americans,” 1st Brigade Combat Team “Bastogne,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The event is hosted by the Military Officers Association of America, a nonprofit organization association of the United States military officers who support government policies that benefit military members and their families.
“This is a great opportunity to get to know the community,” said Brig. Gen. Clair Gill, Deputy Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
“Many who came out here are retired to share their love of the sport with young Soldiers and to help guide the Soldiers who were afforded the chance to experience a different type of things to do around Fort Campbell, KY,” Brig. Gen. Clair Gill stated.
During the turkey hunt, experienced hunters were paired up with Soldiers to make sure the new hunters were not only going to tag a turkey, but also have the opportunity to get to know some of the surrounding community members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
For Breeden, a native of Oregon, this turkey hunt was her first and an experience she says she will never forget.
“In that moment I felt my heart pounding in my ears and the rush knowing this was happening so fast and then…..BAM! I got it,” said Breeden.
After the hunt, the members gathered around to share stories of the day. It was something Breeden was not expecting.
“What I see around is a community,” said Breeden. “I usually don’t get out too much and I am always by myself on the weekends. I’ve never hunted before but I was welcomed with open arms.”
After all the turkeys were tagged, Breeden’s was the hunt of the day. Weighing 21.8 pounds she was going home the winner of the days hunt. “You’re hooked now,” said an experienced hunter, as they congratulated her.
“Many of you this was the first time turkey hunting myself including,” Brig. Gen. Gill stated. “I want to thank all of the guides and the people who put this together. This was very successful in getting new members into the sport and providing different opportunities to be productive on the weekends.”
For more information about outdoor activities, you can do, visit your local MWR to find out what activities are going on around you.