Several electric co-ops serving eastern North Carolina recently came together to donate a total $1,000 to the Gates County Wounded Warrior Turkey Hunt. Albemarle EMC, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative, Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, Halifax EMC, Pitt & Greene EMC, Roanoke Electric, Tideland EMC and Tri-County EMC and participated in the event.
In addition, two Albemarle EMC employees volunteered to serve as guides for the three-day hunt, now in its seventh year. Engineering Technician Travis Riddick and Lineman Kevin Bailey were able to call in a gobbler for wounded warrior Josh Blackmon, who served multiple tours in the Middle East before being injured by a roadside improvised explosive device. This is the third year that Riddick and Bailey have guided for Blackmon, who has bagged gobblers each time.
Twelve wounded warriors hunted this year, and 10 gobblers were bagged. Meals were provided by volunteers. After the hunts, the warriors were treated to prize drawings. The warriors were entered into drawings for a Henry “Golden Boy” repeating rifle as well as a Silver Edition Henry rifle. Shotguns were also raffled off to warriors, as well as the volunteer hunting guides.
The event builds lifelong relationships for the warriors and volunteers, explained Ray Freeman, who along with Ray Campbell and the late Andy Eure began the Gates County hunt after a similar event in Virginia shut down.
“Our folks in Gates County form a relationship with the wounded warriors, and those relationships carry on,” Freeman said. “I’d like to thank Lulu Eure who makes the Gates County Community Center available for these Wounded Warrior hunts.”
More information on the hunt is available from Carolina Country, which covered the event last year.