Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

October 6, 2013

MARTINO: Freedom Hunt provides memories for all

Special kids receive special weekend.

(Continued)

“We handed him a pencil and a pad of paper,” his father said. “At first we couldn’t decipher what he wrote and became concerned he had brain injuries as well. Then Chris looked at it and said, ‘You are not going to believe this.’”

What he wrote shocked them all. On the paper he had written, “Feliz Navidad.”

“We couldn’t believe it and when we looked at him you could tell he was trying to smile,” Jason added, his eyes welling up with tears. “That’s just the type of kid he is.”

The surgeons explained to the family Noah could expect to be in the hospital for up to eight months, due to the seriousness of his injuries.

“But he was out in four,” Jason said thankfully.

Now, barely more than eight months from his accident, the young boy returned to the woods.

“I could never give up hunting,” Noah said emphatically.

So this fall, he made good on his promise.

“It was something we have always done as a family and Noah was determined,” said his father.

So it was just last weekend when the father and son traveled from their home in Fort Wayne to Cass County to take part in the seventh annual Freedom Hunt.

Founded by Steve Griffey, this unique opportunity provides children with disabilities the chance to take part in Indiana’s youth only special deer hunting weekend. The event takes place on land owned by Jim Rogers, who graciously provides his picturesque farm for this event. In addition to hunting, these children also get the opportunity to fish the adjoining Eel River and several neighboring ponds.

This year, 18 children came together for the three-day camping and deer hunting adventure. Each of them was accompanied by a guide.

“This is my first year serving as a guide and as long as I am breathing, I will be here,” said David Trent, who accompanied Tyler Mills.

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