A Walker man who served in the U.S. Army for over two decades was treated to a hunting adventure, courtesy of the non-profit veterans group Storm 22.
Honoring A 22-year Army Veteran
The Storm 22 crew took former Command Sergeant Major Dave Groce on a frog hunting trip (also known as “frogging” or “gigging”) in the marshes of south Louisiana on June 22.
Groce, a combat veteran of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, served in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Division for over 22 years.
Frogging In The Marsh
“Frogging” or “gigging” is often done with gig or multi-pronged spear.
However, Storm 22 president Brad Ford said Groce caught 49 frogs with his bare hands on the trip.
The crew used a technique where they would shine a light to find the frogs and then quietly sneak up on them with the boat.
During all of the excitement of capturing frogs, a fish flopped into the boat! After taking a few photos with the fish Groce released it back into the water.
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Storm 22’s Mission
Since it’s inception two years ago, Storm 22 has taken numerous veterans with PTSD or traumatic brain injuries on a variety of hunting and fishing trips.
But the real benefit to veterans isn’t bringing home an ice chest full of fish or being able to mount a deer on the wall.
It’s the opportunity to talk and spend time outdoors with people who’ve experienced the same thing.
“I’ve been there. I have been in combat situations. I’ve been through a lot of firefights,” Ford said.
Ford is a veteran of 11 years having served in the Army and Desert Storm, unfortunately watching some of his own veteran friends commit suicide over the years.
He says statistics show on average, 22 veterans kill themselves every single day.
The veteran turned police officer says he founded Storm 22 in 2016 for this very reason.
“The main thing is getting a veteran out of the house go outside go do something get busy and you need the comradery that you missed from the military so all of those came to one and we started a nonprofit and here we are,” Ford explained.
Storm 22 is a non-profit group that relies heavily on donations. Ford said the group is currently looking for locations for hog hunting trips in the fall.
If you would like to make a donation to the organization or know a veteran who could benefit from a trip by Storm 22, visit https://storm22.org.