Local veteran gets adventure of a lifetime - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Local veteran gets adventure of a lifetime

IDALOU, TX (KCBD) -

A simple gesture for one disabled veteran made him realize he was capable of doing anything.

The Outdoor Adventure Foundation provides hunting and fishing adventures to combat disabled veterans under the age of 40 and terminally ill children and young adults under the age of 25.

Thanks to the foundation, Army SPC Reas Axtell got to go on a trip of a lifetime.  

"There are things that you would like to do, that you are not capable of and this was one of those things for me," said Axtell.

Less than two days out on the J Bar J ranch in Clarendon, Texas showed Axtell he was up for any challenge.

"Surprisingly I am very mobile so the only hard time I had was when there was sand. My wheelchair just wouldn't go so they had to push me around," said Axell.

Nearly four years ago on August 28th, Axtell lost both of his legs during a rocket attack on a U.S. Military base in Kirkuk, Iraq.

"I got hit by a 127 millimeter Brazilian rifle that landed about 4 feet behind me and wounded me and two others and killed one," said Axtell.

Despite his life changing forever, he proved he was tough and capable of anything that comes his way. During the hunt he even climbed into a blind by himself.

"What we do is try and show them the passion that we have and get them back in the outdoors and just show our appreciation for them as people," said Director of the Amarillo Outdoor Adventure Foundation Britt Cornwell.

Axtell was thrilled by the opportunity, even though he was unsure if he could physically do it. Once he got started he realized he could and left others catching up to him.

"It took 6 hours of us chasing the animal around the ranch before I got the shot," said Axtell.

He shot an oryx, which is an animal from Africa, a prize he will never forget.

"When it's finally done you are like hey I actually shot something that most people won't see. So it's definitely something I can mark off," said Axtell.

He says the Outdoor Adventure Foundation tested his limits giving him a chance to achieve a dream.

"Just because you have an injury doesn't mean you can't do anything it just means you have to find a way around it," said Axtell.

Right now Axtell says he is defying the odds by attending South Plains College to become an automotive technician, something else he says a lot of people thought he couldn't do.

The Outdoor Adventure Foundations says you can help fulfill a dream by donating. For more information go to http://www.txoaf.org

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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