BONIFAY — Guest speakers at this week’s Bonifay Kiwanis Club meeting on March 26 were Jeep Sullivan, founder of Jeep Sullivan’s Outdoor Adventures, Inc. and Carter Hess, son of State Attorney Glen Hess and wounded veteran.
“I attribute most of what I do to my father who is a big hearted man and honored for his service in the military,” said Sullivan. “He kind of started this new ministry for our wounded warriors and Carter was our first warrior.”
Sullivan explained that Jeep Sullivan’s Outdoor Adventures, Inc. provides hunting, fishing, wildlife education, boat tours, frog and fish gig, bowfish and hunting alligator, wild hog, duck, whitetail, turkey, elk, moose, caribou, bear and more to wounded veterans as well as families and individuals.
Veterans are flown down to the nearest airport where Sullivan picks them up and the adventure begins.
“It is amazing and an honor to have these men in my boat, deer stand or duck blind,” said Sullivan. “This gives these guys a chance to really relax and smile and it’s become something better than I could ever imagine. It’s been a blessing.”
He said what touches his heart is that these men and women have sacrificed so much of themselves, figuratively and literally, that he wanted to “give something back,” so he started this 501c3 corporation.
Carter Hess served two tours with the 82nd Airborne before he lost his leg to an IED, improvised explosive device, in June of 2012.
“In November of last year my dad said if I wanted to go turkey hunting then Jeep Sullivan was just the guy to see,” said Hess. “Normally, if you want to go hunting I imagine you want a guy with a name like Jeep. So we went turkey hunting with a colonel from the Air Force.”
He told about their first day hunting, which no turkeys showed up and on the second day the colonel and Hess were sitting, waiting on a turkey.
“While we were sitting I decided to take off my prosthetic leg and the colonel watched with wide eyes,” said Hess. “I told him if I had to shoot the turkey with a gun or bow and arrow or if I have to beat him down with this leg, one way or another a turkey was going to die. Needless to say that really broke the ice.”
He said after a while a turkey came out, turned a corner and was out of sight. Figuring that for the only turkey to come out that day they were surprised to see a second turkey and this time the colonel didn’t hesitate to shoot the turkey.
“The aim must not have been so good because instead of hitting the ground the turkey ran around in five-yard circles with the colonel not far behind him,” said Hess. “If I ever remember anything it would be the image of the colonel chasing that turkey around in circles. I tell you now, it’s not about the hunt, it’s about the memories made, it’s about a connections and it’s thanks to Jeep we have that opportunity.”
Sullivan said as a 501c3 they accept donations.
“If you have the money and you want to make a difference we sure could use it,” said Sullivan. “I’ve seen the faces of the new guys just wanting to connect and I just want to continue connecting and be there for them to show that civilians care enough about our veterans to do something for them.”
For more information visit www.JeepSullivan.com or call 850-326-1771.