News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, Oct. 19, 2012
AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- A six-point buck with a trophy rack is the envy of any hunter, especially Army Staff Sgt. Ruben Pedro.
“It was beautiful. That's the only thing that can come out of my mouth. That thing is beautiful,” he said.
Pedro didn't have a clean shot, but he’ll try again on Saturday. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions hosted the two-day hunt for Wounded Warriors.
“The community and a lot of organizations stand behind us and understand the things we've been through,” Pedro said.
He was serving in Iraq in 2008 when he came under gunfire and was shot.
"Got medivacked over here. I've been at the Wounded Transition Battalion at Fort Gordon for nearly five years now," he said.
He’s fully recovered and hopes to return to duty soon, but other hunters at the hunt won't have that opportunity. Some have lost limbs, and others are in wheel chairs, so this is a hunt many of them thought they'd never go on.
"Events like this give us an opportunity. It opens our eyes up to new things we can do. You might be stuck in a wheelchair, but you can still do what anybody else can," Pedro said.
He says it also helps to heal injuries that are less visible.
"PTSD is not a joke. It's something very serious. Something like this, it calms us down. We're among friends, and it gives us a chance to sometimes just talk about it,” he said.
For Pedro, the excitement for this hunt was overwhelming. He saw about 12 turkeys, even a coyote and a monster buck that just got away.