The weekend of March 27-29, 2015, boasted beautiful weather and excellent hunting conditions, and Bethel Ranch in north Texas provided the perfect location for a successful Upland Game Bird Hunt for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) and sponsored participants Officer JR Boggs, Cpl. Cody Jones and Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos.
JR Boggs, a police officer for Pasadena ISD in Texas, was a first responder sponsored to participate in the hunt. “It was an amazing experience,” he said. “Knowing that others – who I hadn’t even met yet – cared about me enough to give me a weekend away…it was astonishing.”
Boggs was already looking forward to the hunt, but after responding to an early morning, horrific accident earlier that week, the timing could not have been any better.
“The call came in at 7:15am,” he said. “15 minutes before my shift, while I was dropping off my 4-year-old son and almost 5-year-old daughter at preschool.” Boggs rushed to the scene and found an unresponsive woman and her 6-year old son whose arm had been severed in the accident. After that harrowing start, he still had a full shift to work.
“It’s not like I could take the rest of the day off,” Boggs said. “I had to change my uniform and go back to work. If I’m not there, who else is going to do [my job]?”
Having the hunt to look forward to helped him get through the rest of the week. Once he arrived and settled in, Boggs was especially glad to have the opportunity to relax, be himself, and talk with fellow Sheep Dogs…usually the only people who can truly understand what the other is going through.
While this was the first game bird hunt for SDIA, they have taken combat wounded veterans and first responders on other hunts. SgtMaj Lance Nutt, SDIA’s founder and president, enjoys the opportunity to give sponsored Sheep Dogs an all-expenses paid trip and time away. Nutt explained, “Our Hunting Trips give Sheep Dogs something to focus on, which leads to a more positive mental state as well as the confidence that they can continue making a difference.”
Hunt participants and SDIA offer their heartfelt thanks to Larry and Bobby Norrell for donating the weekend at Bethel Ranch to SDIA – and for making everyone feel so welcome – and to ABC Supply Co. Inc. in Denton, TX, for sponsoring the hunt. SDIA hopes to make this an annual event.
To see more photos from the hunt, please see our Facebook album.