<(Adam) Welcome to KSL Outdoors I'm Adam Eakle. You know we've got a lot of service men and women returning home from the Middle East wars, there's a national organization that looks to reintegrate our heroes back into civilian life. Tonight we kick off a Utah chapter and we're starting right here at Sportsman's Warehouse.>
<(Brent) "Corporal Brent Shelby, United States Marine Corp.">
<(Matt) "Corporal Matt Oehler, I was honorable discharged from the Marine Corp in 2004.">
Brent and Matt are two of the more than 1 million Americans who were deployed to Iraq since 2003. A national organization called Hunters Helping Soldiers looks to “give back” to those who have served and sacrificed for our country.
<(Adam) well brent, matt, thanks for your guys' service and on behalf of Sportsman's Warehouse we just want to kick off our hunt off right. Couple of hoodies, couple of hats. let's go get some geese huh?>
The idea is to take these returning soldiers on fishing and hunting trips to help with the physical and emotional healing process through camaraderie and help ease the transition from military life to civilian life.
<(Dan) "dan Ahlstrom, nice to meet you.">
Dan Ahlstrom, just started the Utah chapter of Hunters Helping Soldiers two months ago.
<(Dan Ahlstrom, Utah Chapter HHS) "Just decided one day to might as well jump in and get a chapter going on out here. Try to give back to these guys that give so much to us. So we have our freedom.">
My buddy Jeff Bringhurst and I heard about Dan’s idea, wanted to help, so we introduced him to our good buddy and avid goose hunter Jody Osterhout.
<(Jodie Osterhout, Idaho Goose Hunter) "Corn Field, right off the river. Borders the river so it's going to be a real good hunt. Should get a lot of duck in, goose action, both. Adam- Good, cause we got a lot of green horns over here. Jody- We'll get them in a lot of fun.">
<(Jody) "we got to face everything into the wind. The wind is coming this way.">
<(Adam) Cut corn, cool morning, whew! It's going to be beautiful. Jody's got us a great field, huge pit blind, we've got 11 guys to hide. That's going to be key today.>
<(Jeff) you guys just make sure that your shooting from 0906 you know you want to go 10 o'clock to about 2 o'clock. You can go straight up. Don't shoot the decoys>
<(Jeff) we're hoping they're going to come up, drop right in. We're not shooting ducks until we shoot our first goose.>
<(Jeff Bringhurst, Hevi Shot/Rig em Right Prostaff)I'm just honored to be a part of this. It's great to be able to give back a little bit. these guys are out there risking their lives and for me to come out and help them with a goose hunt is pretty simple. >
<(nats calling) (jody) "here they come guys." (nats calling)>
<(Corporal Matt Oehler, United States Marine Corp) Hunters Helping Soldiers i'd first heard about it through another police officer, canine handler of mine. He had told me about it. I wanted to get involved, wanted to help out. Wanted to do my part to reach out to other veterans, help those guys returning, coming home.">
<(Corporal Brent Shelby, United States Marine Corp) "When I got home. I went on an antelope hunt with my brother which was probably one of the most helpful things for me transitioned back into the civilian sector.">
<(nats calling) (jody) "here we go. Single coming in.">
<(Jody) "got one in the decoys and about 10 working us." (nats calling)>
<(Brent) "here they come, here they come." (nats calling)>
<(Matt) "You know sitting in that blind or that pit, just talking hanging out with your friends. That's kind of like being out in the brush with your marine corp buddies, just hanging out talking and when those geese come flying in, that's a cool feeling, getting amp up, getting excited.">
<(Jeff) "hey guys welcome to Idaho." (brent) "heck yeah that was awesome." (matt) "great calling by the way guys." (brent) "that was awesome.">
More on our Hunters Helping Soldiers hunt coming up, but first let’s dive into tonights quiz question on the Canada goose.
<(Jody) "come on buddy, get in." (Adam) "birds are coming." (jody) "dan let's go." (jody) "yeah a single.">
<(Dan Ahlstrom, Taylorsville, Utah) I'm shocked, I've only been doing this for a month and a half and already we are on our first hunt. Pretty much no where we can go but up.">
<(jody) "going to let them land if they come in guys.">
<(Brent) "it's going to get exciting again.">
<(nats of geese) (jody) "adam these are ours.">
<(shots) "shoot them" (birds fall) "get them dan, get them dan.">
<(Matt Oehler) first goose was awesome. That was probably one of the coolest feelings i've ever had. I grew up in California, never hunted and my wife gave me a hard time for buying this camo jacket the other day. said that i've definitely lived in Utah too long. but this has been an awesome experience">
<(Dan Ahlstrom) "the biggest problem we are having right now is finding vets to take out. We need to get the word out to these guys and let them know that this program is available for them.">
<(Adam) "are they behind us? Oh there they are. (jody) "look at them five." (nats calling)>
<(Brent) Six of them right out there.">
<(Jody) "keep coming.">
<(Brent) "oh my goodness.">
<(Brent) "What a riot, what an absolute hoot man. Oh man I love it.">
<(Jody) "daisy says that one is mine Jeff." Good job Daisy.">
<(Matt Oehler) "This is where it's at right here. this is good times. This is the only time you can get me out in the cold to do something like this.">
<(Jody) "oh hey, four locked. Nice, look at them four isn't that sweet.">
<(Jeff) "is that it?" (brody) "kill them!" (shots)>
<(Jeff Bringhurst) "had some great companies that stepped up. Cam Chef doing lunch for us today. Rig'em Right donated some items. Hevi Shot donated some shotgun shells, just to help out. A lot of companies have stepped up to help this.">
<(Matt Oehler) I know for a lot of my friends returning home, that didn't necessarily didn't want to go out, go to the mall or go to a movie or a restaurant, guys aren't going to pass up the outdoors, and this is a perfect opportunity for someone to kind of come out of their shell a little bit and do different things, this is awesome.>
<(Jody Osterhout, ID Goose Hunter) I think it's a good thing. Make it an annual deal would be great. Let's do it every year.">
<(matt) "my first time hunting, came out here, got a bunch of geese, hanging out with good company, this is a blast. (adam) what do you think your wife is going to think, bringing home a goose to mount, put on the wall? (brent) I think she'll like it, we'll find out when I get home I guess. (matt) My wife isn't a big fan of my office right now, so a goose on a mount I don't know. (adam) that can be your man cave. (matt) exactly. (adam) More coming up from our Idaho Goose hunt, but first back to Salt Lake to the guys at Fish Tech.">
<(Jody) "get it Daisy, get it, bring it here. Good girl.">
Matt and Brent seamed to be having a great time. Matt was a part of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. 22 at the time, he was married, and his wife was pregnant with their first daughter. After he returned, he became a new dad, started taking some college classes but was still struggling with the war.
<(Matt) "yeah it was a rough transition.">
<(matt) had a hard time sticking with those classes. Had difficulty sleeping, had a number of issues going on. I thought everything was fine, I felt ok. If you talk to my wife or close friends, they'll give you another story. You know my wife says I was totally different coming home. (adam) "part PTSD, some of it? (matt) "yeah absolutely. >
Matt was struggling to sleep, still dealing with his transition back to civilian life. It was a memorial for his fallen sargent, where Matt found direction in his life and a career.
<(Matt) My platoon sargent James Cowley, the first Utah Marine killed in Iraq. He was a SLC Police Officer, he was a gang detective at the time. >
<(Matt) after he was killed it was a year after we got home, I attended a memorial and there were dozens of police officers there and I just thought to myself. Hey, I can, I can do this job. That's what kind of peaked my interest in law enforcement.>
Matt and Brent are both Police Officers. Matt is part of the South Salt Lake K-9 unit, Brent works for the Utah Highway Patrol. both have vivid memories of the war, they’d just as soon forget.
<(matt) "There's memories that I wish I never had, but at the same time I wouldn't trade them for anything.>
<(Corporal Brent Shelby, UHP/ Marine) we lost about 80 percent of our vehicles, I think we ended up with 86 wounded and 6 killed in action. (adam) How do you describe that to your family and friends? (brent) You know actually I don't, I try not to. it's one of those things it's hard to discuss with people who haven't been there. It's really hard for them to understand, so I try to avoid the subject most of the time. (Adam) "but needless to say it was tough?" (brent) "it was tough, it was tough, lost a lot of good marines over there., lot of good friends.>
Both marines say this program could be beneficial to other returning vets. In fact, both say they’ll volunteer their time to help get others interested in the outdoors.. A great program in my mind, to let all our service men and women know that we appreciate their service and welcome them home.
<(Matt) "it was phenomenal, it was amazing.">
<(Brent) I think this is a extremely beneficial program and if they put their hat in the ring and try to get them out here doing this type of thing. I think it's real helpful. You know get back, get out get away from things, just BS with the guys, hang out, you know have some fun. It does amazing things for the sychy.>
<(Adam) "that's quite a morning.">
<(Jeff) it's a great thing we've got going on. This is the first event we've been able to do and we've got a lot of stuff planned ahead.">
<(Brent) good guys, good company, killed a bunch of geese. Can't get any better than this I don't think.>
<(Adam) "so if you'd like to help us get this chapter going or maybe you know a vet that might benefit from a day out in the goose field with the guys, then go ahead and contact Dan at email@example.com. Time now to open up the pages of our Utah Field Guide.">