A Weekend with Warriors: Veteran Pheasant Hunt

A Weekend with Warriors: Veteran Pheasant Hunt

Publication Date
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

OCTOBER 16, 2023--Nearly 60 service members and veterans were selected to participate in the
inaugural Weekend with Warriors and Pheasant Hunt in Rolla, Mo. From currently serving drill sergeants
to a nearly 40 year retired Lieutenant Colonel, all who attended had more in common than one would

Different generations of those who served our country, the weekend was as much about camaraderie
and brotherhood as it was about hunting. “You’re connecting with like-minded people,” Eric Hawes said. “It’s not just a military connection, but love for the outdoors.” Hawes, an active duty service member, was among the 60 veterans from the Fort Leonard Wood region selected to participate in the free pheasant hunt sponsored by the Association of the United States
Army (AUSA) Fort Leonard Wood Mid-Missouri Chapter and made possible thanks to Cliff and Sandy
Fleming with Fleming Farm and Kennels and the planning of Pitts Lesesne.

Fleming and Lesesne worked to organize this hunting opportunity for those who have served to provide
a local, outdoor experience and an intentional connection for veterans with other veterans.
Miguel Barahona participated in the second day of the event. “It was honestly one of the most
memorable moments of my life,” Barahona described. “This reminded me how important it is to care for
one another.”

AUSA Fort Leonard Wood Mid-Missouri and Fleming Farm and Kennels were not the only organizations
involved in making last weekend’s event happen. Several community businesses and volunteers stepped
up to help ensure its success.

Following a welcome and safety meeting, veterans spent the morning in the field before returning for
lunch and then finishing up their hunt. Lesesne said they intended for the event to grow and to invite different veteran hunters each year. Many of the participants, who were all able to bag roosters during their hunt, said they are willing to
assist as volunteers with the next event.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the day,” participant Stephen Clymer said. “I am willing to volunteer for these

“I had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity,” LTC(R) Al Parsons stated. “It was a great hunt.”