In 2002, Bud West started the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors. The original focus was helping paralyzed veterans through fishing until the group obtained the land lease in 2005. In 2007, the group became incorporated. Sadly, in 2010 Bud passed away.
Today, we are a dedicated group of men and women who love the outdoors and believe that hunting and fishing should be accessible for everyone, regardless of disability. We serve both military and civilian disabled persons who enjoy hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. The only way they can do so is with the assistance of the Wounded Warrior volunteers who are physically able to do so.
We currently lease over 2800 acres from Consol Energy in Eighty Four, PA, where our members (volunteers) enjoy exclusive hunting rights. Many of our members and volunteers have disabilities themselves and are well aware of the challenges to getting outdoors. Together, we can overcome these obstacles and achieve success independently and collectively. We are required to maintain the property and to keep the fields cleared in agreement with Consol Energy as stated in our lease. We have many fundraisers such as Ham and Bacon shoots, sales of raffle tickets, and receive generous donations from individuals, companies, and other organizations. These funds enable us to fulfill our obligation to Consol and provide the services to the disabled.
We have one pontoon boat that is accessible for all disabled individuals, regardless of disability for fishing on the Monongahela River. For hunting season, we have a heated facility where we can serve a hot lunch and provide warmth for the disabled hunters.
In the past few years our organization has grown and added improvements to our property. In 2013, we added a rifle range with a pavilion that one of our members, who is an Eagle Scout, did for his project. In 2013, we also had two Dark Woods handicapped hunting blinds donated to our organization. These blinds have been used during both turkey and deer season. Our disabled hunters enjoy these blinds as they are on trailers which allows them to be moved throughout the property. In 2016, we had a concrete walkway put in from the pavilion by the pond to the pond as an Eagle Scout project. We also had another Eagle Scout project done in 2016 which was the building and installation a floating dock and ramp for our pond that is wheelchair accessible. Our disabled members enjoy this dock as it makes it more efficient for them to be able to fish on the pond. We used to have two pontoon boats, but since one got damaged due to high winds, we now have it in our pond as another dock beside the floating dock. Our wheelchair bound members love it, as it gives them more room to fish from.
Since the organization has been created, we have many new members, great improvements to the property, a wheelchair accessible boat to fish from anytime, and more varieties of fundraisers than we had when we first started!
We thank everyone for their support to our organization and to all the volunteers who devote countless hours and a lot of their time to the organization! It truly means a lot to everyone involved. The organization wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of our devoted members and volunteers!