Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
Let's Give the Gift of the Outdoors to Our Disabled Veterans
A bill has been introduced recently in the Michigan legislature that would provide free fishing and hunting licenses to disabled veterans. Presently, veterans who are 100-percent disabled may purchase hunting and fishing licenses for 60 percent off the price. The bill states that a disabled veteran qualifies if deemed (by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) totally and permanently disabled as a result of military service, or one who has been rated unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
I think this is the least Michigan can do. I’d like to see all the states follow Michigan’s lead and in fact, do it one better. Allow all disabled veterans to hunt and fish for free. Forget about 100 percent disabilities. If you have been hurt in the line of duty for your country, when you get out of the service, you should be rewarded every day for that sacrifice. If disabled veterans never had to pay another hunting or fishing fee, maybe they would be more inclined to make an effort to get outdoors and maybe benefit from additional healing and also, it is one small way that we can give back and show appreciation.
After all, those of us who hunt and fish pay permit and license fees, so why shouldn’t we have our voices heard about this matter? And while we're at it, let's include firemen and policemen, and any law enforcement officers hurt in the line of duty.
What do you think?
Please visit Freedom Hunters, an organization that honors our nation's finest by taking active duty, combat veterans, disabled military service members, Purple Heart recipients and families on select retreats and hunts -- to boost morale and reacquaint them with the outdoors.