Program helps wounded Charlotte County vets enjoy outdoors


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — A new project has made the Peace River State Forest a source of independence for wounded veterans.

Operation Outdoor Freedom is dedicating more than 5,000 acres of forest land to a program that provides outdoor activities at no cost to wounded veterans. It’s part of a statewide initiative that’s setting aside pieces of land across Florida for those who served.

Operation Freedom Camp in Charlotte County still has to undergo some renovations and improvements before it opens, and in order to take part in the program, veterans must be Purple Heart recipients or declared at least 30 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The point is to give back to those who’ve paid a dear price for freedom.

“Servicemen and women have made these sacrifices that we can’t even think about sometimes,” veteran Henry Reposa said. “It’s time to pay them back in some manner.”

Guided hunting tours will be one form of recreation available to qualified vets.

“You don’t need to have a weapon or a rifle,” said veteran Billy Akins. “You go there they’ll have one sighted in for you and they’ll guide you to the right spots for the animals to come.”

For more information on the program’s upcoming events, click here.

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