20090822_RockyMnt_processMISSOULA, Mont.- Veterans Day, established on Nov. 11 to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I, is our country’s way of honoring those who served in American wars. Saying thanks to these heroes also is an important tradition for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

In just the past three years, RMEF has contributed over $25,000 and countless volunteer hours to provide veterans, many whom are disabled, with special hunting experiences, gear and support.

Funding also helped provide recreational opportunities for families of deployed soldiers.

“There are now more than 23 million veterans in the U.S., including a record 1.8 million female veterans, and I wish we could personally show them all how much we appreciate their service and patriotism,” said David Allen, president and CEO of RMEF. “This fall, as we exercise our freedom to hunt, venture into wild country and share the outdoors with our families and friends, let‚s remember that none of it would be possible without our servicemen and women.”

The latest RMEF thank-you came in October when Master Sergeant Jim Shreve, a Purple Heart veteran who suffered a detached retina in both eyes while serving in Iraq, was invited for a special elk hunt near Jackson, Wyo.

The Jackson Hole RMEF chapter had received a Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioner‚s tag for auction. Chapter members rallied supporters to purchase the tag especially for a veteran. Questar, EnCana Oil and Gas USA, Ultra Resources and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming contributed. More supporters helped with a reception, camp, gear, taxidermy, meat processing and access to a private ranch.

After several days of hunting, Shreve took an old bull with broken tines and scars from battles with other rutting bulls, it its own way a “wounded warrior.” RMEF works closely with outdoor writer and former RMEF board member Jim Zumbo on many endeavors for disabled veterans.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.6 million acres˜a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.