Special to the Cape Charles Mirror by Joe Vacarro
Francis Scott Key once wrote ” When the warrior returns, from the battle afar, to the home and the country he nobly defended, O! warm be the welcome to gladden his ear, and loud be the joy that his perils are ended”. Although this song was written for Key’s friends on their return from the war with the Barbary pirates and published in 1805 the spirit of celebrating the return of their warrior comrades continues to remain strong at American Legion Post 56 some 211 years later.
On November 12th, Post 56 once again hosted The Freedom Hunters who are a 501(c) 3 military outreach program dedicated to honoring those who protect our freedoms. They reflect the outdoor community’s appreciation to our troops by taking select active duty, combat veterans, families of fallen heroes and children of the deployed on outdoor adventures. They also make special efforts to take our wounded and injured troops on these hunting and fishing trips that are generously sponsored by sportsmen, conservation groups, state agencies, outfitters, corporations and land owners.
This year’s group was lead by the dynamic 1st District Chaplain Wilson Leggett and his dedicated wife Dianne who ensured that this esteemed group of warriors were treated to Leggett’s famous BBQ dinner at Post 56 on Friday night before the hunt. Saturday morning arrived bright and early for this group and saw the arrival of 10 Freedom Hunters at the Rollins Scott property exactly on time where they eagerly prepared for the day’s activities. The hunt itself lasted several long hours and it was reported that 9 deer were bagged by The Freedom Hunters. Lunch was served at the Leggett homestead and the warriors later enjoyed being the recipients of 12 Buck Knives that were donated by the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Post 56 provided these men and women another Saturday meal and paid for the majority of their lodgings while they were on the shore. This was a busy Veteran’s Day weekend for all but in the words of John F. Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
To all of our warrior guests from The Freedom Hunters- Post 56 salutes you once again and we thank you for your service.