By Lauren White, RCS Reporter.
Volunteers spent the day in Tampa Bay, Florida building, cleaning, and organizing at the Black Dagger Military Hunt Club’s Range Day. Attorney Lee Tomlinson from Cotney Construction Law was one of the volunteers. No matter where they came from though, their purpose for volunteering was to help veterans find healing outdoors, which is one of the main goals of Black Dagger Military Hunt Club Inc. (BDMHC Inc.).
“We had 20 [volunteers] come out today and we built a wheelchair ramp to our wheelchair-accessible blind, cleaned and organized a storage conex and range house, rebuilt berms out to 300 yards, reset targets, and built new hog-proof feeders,” according to BDMHC Inc.
BDMHC Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity based in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. They operate all throughout the state too. Their mission is to help military heroes get back into the woods, get back on the shooting range, and get back on the water to do the things they love to do— shooting, hunting, and fishing, among other outdoor opportunities.
All veterans are welcome, no matter when they served, where they were stationed, or if they’re wounded or well. “We serve veterans recovering from and learning to adjust to life with spinal cord injuries (SCI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and post-traumatic stress (PTS),” BDMHC Inc. shares. “We have specialized equipment to accommodate some of the most injured military heroes, thus helping our honored veterans find their ‘new normal.’”
The vision for this club came about when the founders watched military heroes return home with severe injuries asking, “Can I still do the things I loved prior to my injuries?” BDMHC Inc. believes, “The healing that is found outdoors, whether woods or water, cannot be matched!”
The program was initially funded out of the founders’ own pockets. They later filed for nonprofit public charity status and were granted it in 2012. BDMHC Inc. is 100% volunteer-based and 100% free to veterans. There are multiple company sponsors and supporters, Cotney Construction Law is one of them. However, companies are not used for fundraising, the support of this program is based strictly on volunteers, some of whom are retired or active duty military.
BDMHC Inc. is dedicated to giving back to military heroes. The work they do to reintegrate veterans after their deployments through outdoor programs like hunting, fishing, and shooting is significant. Relying solely on volunteers makes days like the Black Dagger Military Hunt Clubs Range Day important. BDMHC Inc. shared, “We are blessed to have so many wonderful faithful volunteers...We had a great time of fellowship and fun, all for one purpose, to help veterans find healing outdoors! If we all do a little, a lot gets done!”