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Notes from the Field: September 2020

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: September 2020

A beautiful fall scene from the 6th Annual Eagle River Muskie Chal-Lunge.
Photo courtesy of WWIA Guide Dan Berryman.

Notes From the Field: September 2020

During the month of September, we solemnly paid tribute to Patriot Day, POW-MIA Day, as well as our remarkable Gold Star Mothers. We also welcomed the start of fall as we proudly hosted five events where our Heroes could unwind, reconnect, and partake in world-class hunting and fishing in the great outdoors. As we enter the last quarter of this year, we are looking forward to some exceptional upcoming events, so stay tuned for more highlights and news from the Foundation. Be sure to check out this month's spotlight feature to learn more about one of our incredible Purple Heart Guides.


Events and Fundraisers


2020 WWIA Sweepstakes

September 11 - November 11, 2020

Don't forget to get your tickets for a chance to win the WWIA Sweepstakes! You could win one of three cash prizes while helping provide world-class outdoor sporting adventures across the United States to Purple Heart veterans, all at no cost to them. ⠀

Last year, patriots like you helped raise over $40,000 to support our mission. With your help, this year we can reach our goal of $100,000! Tickets are available online at Please encourage your friends, family and network to purchase tickets toward the $5,000 prize. Help raise awareness by sharing your support on social media. Thank you for your support and GOOD LUCK!⠀

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 11/11/20. Open to legal residents of 50 US & DC who are 21 or older. Subject to full Official Rules ( Void where prohibited by law. Contributions or gifts made or paid to Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation are not refundable or transferable. Contributions or gifts made as part of this sweepstakes are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.


Inaugural WI Heroes Northland Experience Black Bear Hunt

September 8-13  Iron River, WI

WWIA was proud to introduce an exciting new event this month with the Inaugural Wisconsin Heroes Northland Experience Black Bear Hunt. Two of our Heroes traveled to Iron River, Wisconsin for six days of hunting in the Northwoods. The delicious home cooked meals, top-notch accommodations, and the casual atmosphere was ideal for relaxing, sharing stories and laughs, and getting to know one another. Although there was plenty of bear activity in the area and a plethora of wildlife seen from their stands, unfortunately, no bears were taken. Regardless, our Heroes had an outstanding time and agreed that the bonds and camaraderie formed on this event were easily the highlight of the trip. Our gratitude and appreciation to longtime WWIA supporters Dan and Nancy Bourassa for proudly hosting our Heroes and for their tremendous hospitality. This event would not have been possible without so many generous donors and supporters. We salute you and thank you for honoring our Heroes. Special recognition and thanks to WWIA Guide Derrick Oursler for providing additional support and care throughout the event. 

"Thank you for all your hard work and efforts coordinating the Northwoods black bear hunt. I really appreciate it. It was an amazing time. It was an honor to be able to go. Thank you and WWIA."


2nd Annual New Hampshire Bear and Bass Event

September 10-14  Grafton, NH

The 2nd Annual New Hampshire Bear and Bass Event recently welcomed four of our Heroes to the town of Grafton. The pristine wilderness provided our Heroes with outstanding opportunities as they were able to harvest two nice black bears over the five-day event. Their time on the water was equally enjoyable as they were able to catch both large-mouth bass and pickerel. This event truly epitomized the meaning of "getting away" from the hustle of everyday life and allowed these combat-wounded veterans the space and time they needed to connect, recharge, and form bonds with their brothers.  The food throughout the event was wonderful and plentiful, expertly prepared courtesy of camp chef John Nuggent. One example was a superb surf and turf dinner of lobster and steak tips, which was a huge hit as two of our Heroes had never tried lobster before. Our Heroes left New Hampshire with tremendous gratitude, new friendships, and with a beautifully crafted American hunting rifle donated by Ruger. High praise and gratitude to Ruger, as this was the second year in a row that they honored our Heroes with these incredible hunting rifles. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Host Roy Holland and his phenomenal friends and supporters for making this already amazing event even better. Special thanks to WWIA Guide Derrick Duplisea for his assistance and attention to our Heroes during their stay. 

"Best hunting trip I’ve ever been on!  I’ve done wounded warrior events but never with other Purple Heart recipients only.  Great being with other vets that have been through the same ordeals I’ve been through.  Everyone here was encouraging and helpful.  Never felt like I wasn’t welcome or not part of the group.  I can’t wait for my next WWIA event.  This event came at a great time of need.  Helped me through a rough time."

4th Annual Saltgrass Lodge Red Fishing

September 11-14   Buras, LA

Four of our Purple Heart recipients arrived in Buras, Louisiana for the 4th Annual Saltgrass Lodge Red Fishing Event. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned as severe rain and thunderstorms blanketed the area as it became clear that an approaching hurricane was moving toward the state. Although our Heroes were able to get in some fishing on a limited basis the first day, they periodically fought downpours and lightning. They had some success, but the weather made the conditions challenging at best. The hopes for a second day on the water had to be scrapped as evacuation orders were given for parts of neighboring New Orleans and the decision was made to end the event early due to the uncertainty and to ensure everyone's safety. Despite the disappointing weather, our Heroes spirits weren't dampened, and they appreciated the tremendous efforts made by everyone involved. Our Heroes enjoyed their time spent at Saltgrass Lodge as the food and accommodations were first-class all the way. Special thanks to Host Raymond Schmitt and Co-Host Audie Murphy for providing this unique and well-loved event for our Heroes. Additional recognition and thanks to the volunteers, boat guides, and all the donors and supporters who made the event possible through their generosity and patriotism. Our gratitude to WWIA Guide Mark Broda for his outstanding support and coordination.

"Had a wonderful time with the other WWIA participants and other guests.  Our host was very gracious and accommodating.  The facilities were first-rate and the food was very well-prepared. I would recommend Saltgrass Outdoors to anyone who wants to fish, rest and enjoy great companionship."


2nd Annual Camp Hackett Black Bear

September 11-15   Phillips, WI

Two of our Purple Heart Heroes gathered at WWIA's Camp Hackett in Phillips, Wisconsin to take part in five days of hunting, camaraderie, and fun at the 2nd Annual Camp Hackett Black Bear event. Camp Hackett offers outstanding opportunities for hunting a variety of game animals over 410 bountiful acres of private land. Our Heroes  thoroughly enjoyed their time in Wisconsin as it provided them with some well-deserved time away from the noise and stresses of everyday life. Their time in the field was both exciting and successful, with one of the Heroes harvesting his first bear ever. In their down time, they were able to build rapport with one another over meals and shared experiences. One of the highlights of the event was visiting Kim's 3-Mile Bar and Grill, a local staple that generously hosted a tremendous cookout fundraiser in our Heroes honor. Many event sponsors and members of the community came out to express their appreciation to our Heroes and selflessly donated over $2,400 in support of local Camp Hackett events. The people and businesses of Phillips and the Northwoods have truly embraced WWIA throughout the years, partnering with us in our mission to serve, honor, and change the lives of our Heroes. We are grateful and humbled by their patriotism and support. Our sincere thanks to Host, Colonel (Retired) Arthur Kandarian for his coordination and care of our Heroes. We would also like to thank John Bogdanovic and Duane Michalski for donating their bear tags to our Heroes. Additional gratitude and appreciation to Bob Bolz, Mike Reed, Don and Isaac Angelo, John Carlson, Jeff and Casey Williams, and Jeff and Deedee Schillinger for their combined efforts in making this event so successful and memorable for our combat-wounded veterans.

"Unbelievable experience! Harvested my first bear tonight! I am so excited, I probably won’t sleep tonight! Unbelievable experience, so thankful to WWIA and the supporters here. I can never repay what has happened this week! Thank you all so much!"


6th Annual Eagle River Muskie Chal-Lunge

September 24-27   Eagle River, WI

Eight of our Heroes traveled to Wisconsin to enjoy four days of relaxation, fun, and fellowship at the 6th Annual Eagle River Muskie Chal-Lunge. Our Heroes were welcomed with open arms by the incredible community of Eagle River and spent the first evening getting to know the Host, community members, event sponsors, and their fishing guides over a wonderful buffet style dinner. They were also presented with an assortment of fishing gear, a custom rod courtesy of St. Croix Rod, lures and tackle by Joe Bucher Outdoors, fishing reels donated by the congregation of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and gorgeous handmade quilts by the Northwoods Quilters. It was a humbling and gracious welcome and our Heroes were incredibly moved by the kind gestures and patriotism of the local community. They hit the water early over the next two days and were blessed with beautiful weather and some exceptional catches. One of the unique aspects of this event is that each Hero was able to spend time with legendary Fishing Hall of Fame angler Joe Bucher who graciously worked with each one of them in their boats, helping them work on their casting and setting their drag. Our Heroes were also honored with an incredible banquet in their honor, where they enjoyed a delicious prime rib and shrimp dinner. They were also presented with beautiful commemorative plaques and were able to acknowledge and thank the outstanding community members, volunteers, and sponsors who worked hard to make this event possible. High praise and appreciation to the extraordinary fishing guides that skillfully led our Heroes: Bill Jacobs, Bob Jacobs, Lou Mirek, Joe Bucher, Justin Reynolds, Andy Hendrickson, Lou Dreger, Jay Hollnagel, and Pete Stoltman. Special recognition and thanks to Host Scott Samuels for continuing to raise the bar on this incredible event year after year. Additional thanks to WWIA Guide Dan Berryman for his coordination and care throughout this excursion.

"Thank you so much for all you guys do. It is so amazing being able to get together with fellow veterans
from all era’s and being able to socialize with individuals with similar experiences. As a single Mom with
3 kids, I never get away and have time to vacation. So these few days away remind me of why I love my
country so much. This entire town came together to make a few veterans feel loved. Thank you."


Kim's 3 Mile Bar and Grill Cookout Fundraiser

September 13

Our gratitude and appreciation to Kim's 3-Mile Bar and Grill for hosting an exceptional cookout fundraiser on September 13th in Phillips, Wisconsin. The local residents and businesses of Phillips have been tremendous supporters of the Foundation and this cookout was another example of their patriotism and dedication. Through the generosity of all involved, over $2,400 was donated to WWIA and will go to support the local Camp Hackett events. Our thanks to everyone who came out to show your support and honor our Purple Heart Heroes, and to the amazing people that grilled all the delicious food. Special thanks to all the employees that selflessly donated their time and helped make this fundraiser so successful and fun!


Help Support WWIA and our Heroes with Your CFC Pledge!

September 21, 2020 - January 15, 2021   

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is officially underway! CFC allows federal employees and retirees to make charitable contributions to a number of eligible charities they personally select by directing a portion of their income or annuitant payments to those non-profits. CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign and the pledges and contributions received help non-profits like WWIA continue the work we are doing to assist in the healing and restoration of our Heroes. As you look to make your CFC charity designations this season, we would appreciate you considering making a pledge to WWIA and making a direct difference in the lives of our Purple Heart Heroes. Click here to be taken to the CFC Donor Pledge Site. We appreciate your support in advance and for all you do to help us spread the message and mission of WWIA. We thank you in advance for your consideration and for your faithful support as you partner with us.


WWIA September Spotlight

For our September Hero Spotlight, we are honored to introduce you to Dan Berryman. Dan proudly serves as a Guide for WWIA, sharing his skills and insights with his fellow Heroes. We sincerely appreciate Dan taking time to share some of his thoughts with us and hope you enjoy getting to know part of his story. 

Dan, can you please give us a brief introduction and tell us a little about yourself and your family?

Hello, my name is Daniel Berryman and I currently live in Wheeler, Wisconsin with my beautiful wife Nichole Berryman, our German Shepherd, Jango, and we are excited to announce that we are expecting our first child this coming January!  My wife and I are both originally from Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  

I served in the Michigan Army National Guard for 17 years as a Combat Engineer "ESSAYONS!".  I medically retired in 2018 from injuries that I received in combat.  I was assigned to the 1431st EN CO (SAPPER) part of Michigan's historic 107th Engineer Battalion that served in all major campaigns dating back to the Spanish American War.  I deployed to Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2009 where I received my Purple Heart during route clearance operations in the Kowst bowl.

I graduated from Northern Michigan University while serving in the Army National Guard with an Associates degree in climate control technology.  I then joined the Sheet Metal Workers Union and completed a 5-year apprenticeship program working in commercial and industrial heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC).  I now work at the University of Minnesota; testing, adjusting, and balancing air and hydronic (TAB) mechanical systems on their East Bank campus.  

I always enjoyed outdoor recreation as a kid, camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and exploring the outdoors.  It wasn't until my high school years that my best friend and his father introduced me to hunting.  We had excellent white-tail deer, turkey, and ruffed grouse hunting right across the street from where I lived and also all across the Upper Peninsula.  I have always been an outdoor enthusiast but never had I thought before my injuries and retirement from the military just how important outdoor recreation would be to my well-being. 

How did you first get involved with WWIA? 

I was recommended to sign up with WWIA from two of my good friends who are also Purple Heart recipients with whom I served in the same route clearance company with in Afghanistan, Derek VanBuren (VB) and Jon French (Frenchy)!  Thanks again fellas!  I honestly think they could tell I was struggling with everyday life and needed an out, maybe some time of reflection with other wounded veterans, plus they knew I had a passion for the outdoors.  This was also during my transition to becoming a full time civilian again.......YUCK!  hahaha.

Why do you choose to be a WWIA Guide on our events?

I was fortunate enough to go on two different events within my first year of being accepted into the WWIA and meeting some veterans that had real struggles; you know, sleep problems, social problems, not leaving their homes, men and women that needed help!  Most notably the kind of help that could not be obtained at a hospital or VA facility.  My wife will attest along with me how much this organization has done for my confidence and mental health since my separation from the Army and losing the camaraderie of my close friends.  So all in all I wanted to give back to this organization and I also did not want my own healing to end.  I wanted maintenance, something to look forward to, some structure away from military service with others that understood me.

What has been the biggest benefit for you since becoming involved with WWIA? 

As of right now the biggest benefit to me would definitely be being in a leadership position where I can go on a hunt and/or fish with a person that really wants to enjoy outdoor experiences and possibly give them hope, direction, and maybe even help!  They don't have to feel obligated to open up and talk about the past, but I welcome it and I enjoy hearing other veteran's stories, they know they are with someone on an event that can at least somewhat relate to their own experiences.  There's a lot of civilians that ask me questions and I kind of just lock up because I know their intentions aren't always for me but their own understanding or comprehensions about military service and being wounded.  So yes, the biggest benefit to me is the opportunity to give back to WWIA! 

What is something you would like others to know about WWIA and your own experience with the Foundation?

This group of people are truly awesome, down to earth, friendly people!  I have had some life changing experiences with my own health and my relationships with family and friends for the better.  If you have an opportunity to go on an event definitely do it.  The communities and volunteers that go out of their way, spend their own money, and take away time from their families and friends, to provide this for you is absolutely humbling!  To witness first hand the amount of appreciation and how much respect and love people show you on these events will change your life and give you hope and a different appreciation for our great country!

What would you say to others who are considering getting involved with WWIA either as a Hero or in any other capacity?

If you are already considering WWIA you have found the right place to be!  Whether you're new to outdoor recreation or just getting started, it doesn't matter. You will meet some lifelong friends, hopefully learn to be at peace with yourself, and maybe start a new chapter in your life.  I would definitely recommend this veteran organization.  


Sponsors and Friends

We would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the following supporters for their gracious contributions and dedication to WWIA and our Heroes. THANK YOU!


Jennifer Reinhardt $2,728.05 (via CARS vehicle donation)

Weil-Bohn Charitable Fund $2,000

Nelson Holt $1,000

Shari Gluckman $500

CVCC $500

Donations toward Inaugural Virginia Muzzleloader Whitetail Hunt

Kenneth Graves $1,500

C.A. Liebert, Inc. $500

Atlantic Constructors, Inc. $500

Donations toward 2nd Annual Naples NY VFW

Big Buck Hunt

  Naples Memorial Post 8726 VFW $1,000

Donations toward 6th Eagle River Muskie Chal-Lunge

Premier Powersports & Marine $1,000

Immaculate  Conception Church $1,000

Headwaters Chapter of Muskies Inc $800

VFW Post 8367 Canteen Account $800

Simac's Plumbing, LLC $500

Parsons of Eagle River, Inc. $500 


Share Your WWIA Experience With Others!

WWIA is honored to have been rated a top-rated nonprofit in 2020! Thank you to everyone who took time to share your experience and feedback to help us achieve this wonderful honor over the past 6 years! If you haven't shared your own WWIA experience, would you please consider leaving us a review? We sincerely appreciate your support of WWIA & our Purple Heart Heroes. Click here to share your own WWIA story and to read what others have had to say. Thank you!


Order From and Help our Heroes!

When it comes time to order your ammunition, please consider ordering from has partnered with WWIA, so whenever you purchase your ammo from them, they graciously donate 1% of your entire purchase back to the Foundation. has donated an incredible $9,843 since last year through their Freedom Fighter program!  All you have to do is select WWIA as your preferred “Freedom Fighter” option from the drop-down menu at checkout. And right now, you can also save 20% off any order of $200 or more! Simply go to to get started and find out more information. Our sincere thanks to for their tremendous support and to everyone who chose WWIA as their "Freedom Fighter" designation when ordering previously. We are honored by your support of WWIA and our Heroes and applaud your outstanding patriotism!