Veteran Major Joe Bogart is a man we are proud to honor.
Major Bogart served his country for 28 years; 23 years of which were active duty in the U.S. Army. In July 2006, he became a platoon leader in Iraq, and on October 6, 2006, while canvassing the area with his men for I.E.D.'s, he found one "the hard way," he says.
A shrapnel got behind his eye protection and destroyed his right eye, and significant damage was done to the rest of his face when his helmet flew up. Upon waking up in the hospital, Joe immediately requested to return to his platoon and continue with his work. However, Joe had to be flown home to America in order to receive the necessary surgeries to remove his right eye.
Losing an eye and experiencing significant damage to his vision didn't deter or scare Joe away from his duty. After going through vision therapy and getting back on his feet, in August 2008, Joe left his guide dog and his cane at home and returned to Iraq. He continued to serve until his retirement in 2017.
Today, Joe loves hunting because he says he, "gets to feel normal."
Jeremy Judd of the Veterans Afield Foundation took Joe hunting in Texas for Rios, and the retired Major killed two big gobblers with impressive skill.
Here's Joe's story.
Thank you for your service, Major Bogart.
For more stories like Joe's, visit our Honor video series that focuses on telling the stories of brave veterans while we take them hunting or fishing.
Veteran's Afield Foundation
The Veteran's Afield Foundation was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2017, though they've been taking wounded veterans hunting since 2004 when they realized the healing power these trips could provide.
VAF currently offers 10-15 life-changing hunting and fishing expeditions and specialized hunts each year, all across the United States. Thanks to the generous support of donors and partners, their programs are free of charge for participants.
For more information, visit their site at veteransafieldfoundation.org.