Big Hearts Under the Big Sky Honors Veterans Day by Fulfilling One Veteran’s Dream of a Montana Elk Hunt
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: November 10, 2023

Big Hearts Under the Big Sky Honors Veterans Day by Fulfilling One Veteran’s Dream of a Montana Elk HuntHunting Experience Hosted by Double D Outfitters on the Big Spring Ranch, Lewistown, Montana[Lewistown, MT – November 10, 2023 – Big Hearts Under the Big Sky (Big Hearts) will celebrate Veterans Day by making one deserving veteran’s dream come true. The Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA) is proud to announce that Ethan Whitfield of Fayetteville, NC, a true American hero, was awarded a fully guided and outfitted elk hunt with Double D Outfitters on the picturesque Big Spring ranch near Lewistown, Montana. The trip will take place the weekend of November 10th, 2023. He will be joined his brother, nephew and father. Whitfield has an extraordinary record of service to his country, with 16 combat deployments spanning an impressive 22 years of military dedication. Throughout his illustrious career, he served with distinction in the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st Special Forces Group, and the United States Army Special Operations Command (Special Missions Unit). His impressive training credentials include completing Ranger School, the Special Forces Qualification Course (Medical Sergeant), Military Free-Fall, and the Combat Divers course. For his remarkable service, Whitfield has been honored with the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart. Sadly, due to injuries related to his service, Whitfield has been deemed 100% disabled.“On this Veterans Day, a day of profound gratitude to our veterans, the Big Hearts program, and all those who support it, are privileged to host Ethan for this extraordinary Montana hunting experience,” remarked Mac Minard, the Executive Director of the Big Hearts program. “We believe that these family-focused memories, set against the rugged Montana landscape, may serve as a pathway back to the life he sacrificed so much to protect and preserve.Big Hearts is dedicated to covering all expenses for qualifying families to partake in outfitter-supported trips. Since its inception in 2008, the organization has touched the lives of hundreds of individuals and their families, generously donating over half a million dollars in outfitted services to those who’ve given so much for their nation.Whitfield’s general license was a product of the Purple Heart donation program and his permit was provided by the Big Spring Ranch through Montana’s 454 program. About Big Hearts Under the Big Sky Big Hearts Under the Big Sky is a program of the Montana Outfitter & Guides Association. While there are many organizations throughout the country that host “wish” trips for deserving participants, Big Hearts Under the Big Sky is unique in that we work with qualified and licensed outfitters and guides throughout Montana to serve both individuals and their families. The program is dedicated to providing fully outfitted trips to military service members and others who have provided extraordinary service to our country and to children who face a life-threatening illness. Our focus is on the family experience. Big Hearts Under the Big Sky covers all the hard costs for families to participate in outfitter-supported trips and experience the healing beauty and power of Montana. Over the years, the organization has served hundreds of individuals and their families, with MOGA member outfitters providing the donated trips, all at no cost to trip recipients.  Big Hearts under the Big Sky will host its annual Banquet and Fundraiser on January 14, 2024 in Helena.  Proceeds will be applied to serving the next round of families as part of the 16th year of service.

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