An old hunting lodge near Parker is about to take flight once again, only this time it has a whole new mission.
“We think it’s the first one, certainly in the state, maybe in the nation,” owner and operator Bruce Weller said.
Old Glory flies proudly in the South Dakota wind at a place now called ‘Wings of Valor.’
The non-profit, 160-acre hunting preserve, is dedicated solely to disabled American Veterans, just like they were dedicated to serving our country.
“Experience nature, experience the pheasant hunt and of course just come out and experience the camaraderie of other veterans,” Weller said.
It’s still under construction, but when complete, the new lodge will be completely ADA accessible with six suites for vets with disabilities.
“Our goal and mission here, now as a 501c3, a non-profit organization is to raise enough funds, so we can have an endowment that will allow disabled veterans to come here at no charge,” marketing director Scott Redd said.
As pheasants wander and scratch the grounds, the excitement is already taking off.
“Some of these guys when we contacted them a couple of weeks ago, they said ‘really, we get to come to South Dakota to pheasant hunt,’ Weller said.
“This hunting lodge has a special purpose a way for soldiers, who have been seriously wounded or disabled, to come out and be whole again,” Redd said.
With nature and with themselves.
“It’s a healing process there’s no question about it,” Weller said.
Disabled vets will also be able to hunt deer and there’s even an ADA accessible duck blind for them to use as well.
The first hunt is scheduled in a few weeks.