Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Veterans honored as heroes at special weekend

Veterans honored as heroes at special weekend
by Eric Wilkinson
Posted on October 14, 2013

They were road weary and worn out from a wild weekend away, but also rejuvenated in ways only they can truly comprehend.

“We all became good friends from the instant we met,” said Jesse Allerdings. “There’s just something about being with these people that is so special.”

Allerdings is an Iraq War veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He would sweep enemy areas for weapons and explosives. At times he felt like a ticking time bomb with the anger and stress he brought back from war. He found it tough just to celebrate the 4th of July.

“As long as I was setting off the fireworks it was fine, but stuff going on around me I couldn't handle very well,” he said.

But there was a bit of welcome relief this past weekend. Bellingham businesses raised $10,000 to send 10 veterans to a "Hunting With Heroes" excursion in Klickitat County. They hunted pheasant, fished for salmon, ate barbecue and bonded as brothers.

“Everybody's been through the same thing,” said Allerdings. “It feels good just to be able to release some of what’s been bottled up for so long.”
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