The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, so goes the adaption of a line from “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns. And so it appears that our plans to take Disabled American Veterans (DAV) have gone awry. But let me backtrack a little.
About a year ago, I found out about DAV Project Hope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide outdoor activities for local disabled vets. I contacted DAV Project Hope regarding bird hunting trips to a local bird hunting lodge and elk ranch, CA Bull Elk Ranch, in which I would volunteer to handle my dogs for the hunters.
In April of this year, I posted an article on a meeting that I had with DAV Project Hope and the CA Bull Elk Ranch, and that we were tentatively organizing a bird hunt this October. As a fundraiser, DAV Project Hope scheduled a concert to be held in September that would help fund not only the bird hunt but other outdoor activities.
From all accounts, ticket sales were going well and the number of reservations indicated that the concert would be a success. That is, until the performer was involved in a car wreck and was issued a DUI two weeks before the concert. The concert went on, but apparently because of that incident, a number of people cancelled their reservations.
Since DAV Project Hope was contractually obligated to pay the performer and band, the boycott did nothing but financially harm DAV Project Hope and jeopardize activities for our disabled vets. As of now, there will be no bird hunts and other activities are highly questionable.
So why not wait until next year and try again? The simple answer is that time is not on our side. The CA Bull Elk Ranch, like many hunting lodges, is suffering from our poor economy. While some hunting lodges have already gone out of business – some of which were large and well-known – it is uncertain whether the CA Bull Elk Ranch will be able to offer bird hunting next year.
And then the future is not certain for any of us, particularly those with catastrophic injuries. It is likely that some of our veterans who would have been able to participate in these activities this year, will be unable to do so next year. Unfortunately some opportunities come only once.