Former sheriff’s Lt. Rick Massie and his family leave today to meet up with the “Hunting for Heroes” organization in Missouri.
The organization is a nationwide non-profit group dedicated to providing recreation and other services for law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty. The weekend trip will include fishing and hunting activities for Rick and his son Chuck. Rick’s wife Tonya and daughter Tara Lynn will be treated to a “spa day” and other activities for family members.
Massie was seriously injured in a car crash while on duty for the Troup County Sheriff’s office in Oct. 2008 and has endured almost a dozen surgeries since then. He was fired by the county a year after the incident.
He has known the other “Hunting for Heroes” participants only via e-mail, but has come to rely on them as friends who understand the challenges he has faced in the last four years.
“My little e-mail support group of fired, injured police officers from across the country (we call ourselves the EX-men) all are going,” he said. “The best part is, I finally get to meet my support group of guys that have truly gotten me through some rough spots in this ‘crash deputy’ odyssey.”
Hunting for Heroes is similar to the “Wounded Warrior” foundation set up to help returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
At our camps we connect disabled officers and their families with other families in similar circumstances, the organization says on its website, huntingforheroes.org. They are able to create lifelong friendships and grow their support network as they travel down the long road of recovery. They also gain strength and courage as they share stories of personal struggles and perseverance as they discuss their recoveries and the daily challenges they face. They learn to enjoy the outdoors and a variety of activities that they can preform while overcoming their disability. We expose them to a whole new set of activities that they can preform while overcoming their disability. We expose them to a hole new set of activities that they can share with the entire family. We also provide and demonstrate a variety of adaptive equipment to make their travel into the outdoors safer and more enjoyable.
H4H is compiled of volunteers through several states. They work to host fundraisers, research potential donors and reach out to communities across the country affected after an officer is injured in the line of duty. The effectiveness of our programs depends on our volunteers across the country.