OAK GROVE (KTVE/KARD) -- It's a decently long journey across the 130 acres owned by John and Karen Busby of Oak Grove.
John Busby fought for the U.S. during the Vietnam War and comes from a family of veterans.
"All of my boys have been in the military," Busby said. "They've all been to Iraq and Afghanistan. My son-in-laws and my nieces and nephews have all been."
Now, the Busbys have decided to to dedicate their land for the benefit of all veterans, leasing it out to the local nonprofit "Warrior Hunts."
"I've been out for 28 years, but I still carry a big spot in my heart for veterans of any service," said Busby. "Second is probably because I'm just a little bit lazy. I just didn't feel like cutting another 10 acres of land with no real equipment."
"Warrior Hunts," part of the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Association, treats veterans and their families from around the country to hunting trips.
Their leaders said they'll try to use this land to bring normalcy back to their lives.
"It's 100 acres of fathers and sons, fathers and daughters. Look, fish! I mean, it's that simple," said "Warrior Hunts" President, John Nolan. "Once guys get calmed down into nature, it works."
"It'll be a place where a guy could escape for a while. Family members could talk to family members," Busby echoed.
Nolan said this lease will save the nonprofit thousands in lodging payments for the veterans they host.
Eventually, Nolan said they want to build their own powered and watered camp.
"Getting a lodge," he said. "I mean, we're going to have the lease for more than 10 years, so that's more than 10 summers of coming up here and catching a fish with your kid."
Nolan said it will still take time and money to clear the land for their first hunt, but that every effort will be worth it to bring these veterans together.
"We're by no means big. There's five or six of us. That's it, but this is the potential to be something really cool," he said.
For Busby, he said this choice to help stabilize the minds and hearts of our soldiers brings his career of service full circle.
"Forty years ago, I never would have thought of doing something like this for anybody because I was still pretty bitter about coming back from Vietnam myself," he said. "I think, even moreso now, we need to get something for these young people."
Nolan said the price of the lease for the nonprofit comes out to $500 a year.
They will still need help working and financing the land.
You can also send donations to:
ATTN: Warrior Hunts
P.O. Box 903
West Monroe, LA, 71294
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