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Honoring American Veterans | Real Life Legends

Legendary Whitetails 6.7.2013

As a way to honor our country’s Legendary servicemen and women, we asked our Legendary Facebook fans to share stories about a veteran or active military member in their lives who influenced their love for hunting and the outdoors. There was a great response from our fans and they told us many touching stories of their Real Life Legends. Enjoy their tales below!

*REAL LIFE LEGENDS*

Joe C.

My Real Life Legend is my grandfather, who passed away four years ago, one week prior to my wedding date. He was an Army veteran that was once of only two veterans in my county in Ohio to serve in three wars. He was in WWII, Korean, and Vietnam. He was full of stories from his experiences but what he would rather talk about was the outdoors. He was also a great family man. We often had family gatherings and he would take advantage of the reunions that were on the river, because his fishing pole would already be in the water! He often took me fishing because that was his number one passion, but I still recall him sitting off the back porch with gun in hand just two years prior to his death. He was a dedicated man that loved the outdoors. To me, he was a Real Life Legend and full of knowledge that he passed down to my father who I continue to experience the outdoors with and passion to carry on the tradition for several generations.

Nick L.

My Real Life Legend is my Grandpa Hackett. He enlisted into the Navy and served on a ship during the Korean War. When he was young, he married my grandmother. Together, they had four children. He then would go on to become a grandfather of ten grandchildren. Throughout his life, he loved to take us grandkids hunting and fishing. Anything in the outdoors was right up his alley. From trapping turtles to treeing coons, he was passionate for the outdoors. He took us out into the outdoors and taught us the ethics of hunting and fishing. He hunted coyotes, foxes and raccoons with his beloved blue tick coonhounds. He also trapped raccoons, muskrats, and other critters. When we were young, we would spend a day on the water with him catching bluegills and having a blast. He was truly an outdoorsman, and an ethical one at that; everything he killed was eaten. He lived off of the land by hunting and fishing to support his family. My grandmother would can raccoons, muskrats, and other animals for him to eat. As he got older, he started to have heart problems. Sadly, he passed away in 2002, leaving behind us grandchildren with a love for the outdoors planted in our hearts. Every year, the boys in our family get together for an event called the C.V.H. Memorial, which is a weekend dedicated to him, Clifford V. Hackett, to spend time hunting and fishing together. As long as I live, I will return to the outdoors because of him teaching us about one of God’s creations: the outdoors. Rest in peace grandpa; I hope and pray to see you up in Heaven someday.

Jay M.

My Real Life Legend would have to be my father-in-law. He served in the Air Force just before Vietnam. He lived for the outdoors, whether it was hunting or fishing. When I met my wife, I heard all the deer hunting stories from his lifetime, then he invited me to hunt with them every season. When our kids got to be 5-6 years old, he made sure to tell them all the hunting stories also, and taught them all about guns. When he felt they were ready, he would bring them out squirrel hunting, then dove hunting, because he always believed that if they were into hunting and outdoors, it would keep them out of trouble, which is very true because it’s almost always on their minds. He lived with us for a couple years because of disability, which helped us all learn even more about hunting and fishing. He’d always say, “Since I can’t anymore, you guys have to go do the hunting and fishing. You catch ’em and I’ll clean and cook ’em,” or “You bring home the deer and I’ll have it processed.” He was very good at making fish spearing decoys (hand carved), which he also encouraged us and the kids give it a shot, since they work so well and could someday be a collector item. Unfortunately, he passed away this last December at the age of 62. His Legend will live on forever as my wife, kids, and I will always remember everything he taught us and will share that knowledge with lots of other people also. R.I.P. Greg

Bob C.

My legend is my good friend Charles Crutchfield. He is a military veteran of the Vietnam War. I am a principal at a middle school, but prior to that I taught in the classroom. Charles and I met 16 years ago when he chaperoned a field trip with me because his daughter was in my class. We became friends and hunting partners. I never hunted as a kid so Charles has been my mentor in teaching me to hunt. Charles is an avid bow hunter and uses a compound bow in deference to his idol Fred Bear. He taught me the ways of bow hunting. He called in the first turkey I ever killed in 1999 a mear week before the birth of my daughter. We are good friends and our families spend time together as well. When I took my daughter on her first turkey hunt, Charles was there calling on one end of the field as I called and coached my daughte on the other. She killed her first turkey that morning! We have taken many hunting trips together both in Tennessess and in other parts of the country. Charles is a self made man, who manages a major manufacturing plant in Gallatin Tennessee. He has taught me how to be a better leader and manager of people, both skills I use on a daily basis as a principal. I think it is safe to say that if I had not met Charles I probaly would not have developed as an outdoorsman. His influence has allowed me to enjoy life as a hunter and I can’t thank him enough for giving me that gift.

Charles V.

My real life legend is my dad Dennis Vance he served in the United States Air Force and was set to go to Vietnam when their orders was changed. He is a retired coal miner with over 20 years and thankfully he has some close calls and minor injuries he made it thru supporting me and my mom. My dad started me into hunting and fishing at a very young age. The first time I can remember was in 1983 when I was with him and killed my first deer I was 7 years old. We was tracking it almost got bit by a giant rat (opossum) and about that time I found the deer and shot it when it was trying to get up. There has been many hunting and fishing trips since then. I have also got the enjoyment in watching him pass down his love of the outdoors to his two grandsons and waiting on his great granddaughter to get old enough to go. But most of all he is a Legend for his love of God that he continues to instill in all of us. Love you Dad!!


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