A Denham Springs man who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War was taken the on the deer hunt of a lifetime, courtesy of the Baton Rouge-based non-profit veterans group Storm 22.
Honoring A Vietnam Veteran
The Storm 22 took former Officer 3rd Class Newton Blouin on a hunting trip in south Texas during the weekend of October 12-14.
Blouin, who is originally from Baton Rouge, patrolled the waterways of Vietnam aboard a wooden ship to seek out sea mines. He also served on the USS Fortify and USS Imperious.
Hunting In South Texas
Storm 22 President Brad Ford said the organization partnered with the owners of a private ranch in Texas to make the hunt possible for Blouin.
Members of Storm 22, who are also former military veterans, and Blouin traveled to the ranch about 30 miles north of Laredo, Texas on October 12.
Over that weekend, the Vietnam veteran harvested an eight-point buck. The deer weighed 200 pounds and was 118 inches long.
The rest of the Storm 22 crew bagged several wild hogs.
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.
How You Can Help
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.