During the morning hunt one of the Muzzleloader guys with a cow tag shot his elk. His Dad has
a bull tag and almost doubled up. We heard and saw elk but no one else had shots. Here is a
photo of Dan and Jake
On our way out for the PM hunt we heard a bugle only a 100 yards away. Jake and I set up and
Dan began calling. We could hear cow calls really close and the bull bugled 2 more times. After
about 20 minutes with no movement we attempted to move closer and BAM, the woods
exploded with a herd of cows/calves being lead away by the bull. Close again but humbled as
Later that evening I was talking with Jake and I asked him to tell me his story about the day he
got shot. I think we are all curious but I needed to make sure Jake wanted to tell the story and
he assured me he was fine with it. First, Jake was raised in the mountains of Pennsylvania and
after 9/11 when he was about 15 he started watching the war stories on the History Channel
and felt a strong calling to serve. Ten days after graduating high school he was in basic training.
His first tour was in 2005 and was mostly dealing with snipers and IED's. The second tour in
2007 was in Samarra which was a lot of hand to hand city combat. He is a proud member of the
101st Airborne and was a squad leader. The day he got shot they were going house to house
interviewing people and had taken fire 13 or 14 different times. As Jake exited the last building
of the day he looked down the street about 100 yards and saw the tail end of a black BMW
sticking out from a building. A guy was in the trunk with a machine gun and opened fire. Jake
took two bullets in the arm which shattered his bone and destroyed his nerve. His reaction was
to lift his right arm and as he did he took 5 more bullets directly in his chest body armor. The
body armor blocked the bullets. Two other guys were also hit and survived. The guy in the trunk
was a cell leader and subsequently put out a publication bragging he had killed these guys.
had to ask Jake if they ever got that guy who shot him? The answer was yes, according to Jake he was 'eliminated' three weeks later.
Jake was immediately flown out for treatment which involved several major surgeries including
removing a good nerve from his calf and inserting it in his arm. His arm is now strong but has
some limitation to dexterity. He gives excellent marks to the care he received throughout the
Jake then went on to describe how hard it was to instantly be removed from your "brothers in
arms" when wounded. He went from being squad leader to out, and in many ways alone. This is
a part of getting better that is a big challenge to todays survivors. Jake tells of having the same
bad dream for a few years of not being able to help his guys when they got trapped in a
building. Here is where the www.WWIAF.org helps. These guys need to interact with peers,
mentors and also hunting and fishing buddies like us to help get them moving forward. Jake is
doing very well these days and serves as a host to other wounded warriors on these
hunting and fishing trips.
In the course of conversations with Jake it became very obvious to me and the others we have
an amazing but over-worked military. Jake speaks highly of his lieutenant who was a West Point
graduate. He is "a guy we would all take a bullet for" and a leader we trusted every day. He also
said after five tours he was a different, and drained man. Thank you Warriors!