Special Operations Wounded Warriors, a non-profit organization dedicated to taking care of our combat injured operators, recently put together a four-day hog hunt for veterans in North Carolina.

Eleven combat wounded veterans were treated to an all-expenses long weekend of camaraderie and hunting as SOWW picked up the tab for the entire event. Including the campers the veterans stayed in during the hunt.

The 8th Annual Hog Hunt took place in Tabor City, NC at a hunting camp.

“When you’re in the service, you’re going a 100 miles an hour. Then when you come back to stateside, it’s like an immediate stop. So a lot of anxiety built up there. You don’t know what to do or where to put that energy. That’s what this hunt provides for guys,” says Ron Bellan. He’s a retired Navy Seal Master Chief who spent 25 years as a Seal. Bellan’s been a part of the Hog Hunt for several years and says the weekend of hunting, shooting, and camping in the woods does a whole lot of healing. “It brings together a brotherhood.”

“They get to enjoy fellowship and spend time with guys that are going through similar situations as they may be with some of the trauma their bodies have faced,” says SOWW Vice President Joel Pellici. He says the hunt grows bigger each year, as former participants, like Keith Morges, come back to offer support to the newcomers. “My intent in coming back in the support role was to give somebody the feeling of hope. Because I felt absolutely hopeless for so long,” says Morges.

To the veterans attending the event, it has been described as not only a weekend hunting, but as a form of therapy. The weekend of hunting, camping and shooting brings together the brotherhood that the wounded special operators may be missing in their lives post-military.

SOWW is a volunteer organization based out of Myrtle Beach, SC

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Photo courtesy SOWW Hog Hunt 2015