WATCH: San Angelo Welcomes Veterans for Annual Hunting Event
SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Support for Veterans organization greeted nine veterans on Tuesday evening at Mathis Field Airport for this year's annual hunting event. These veterans, selected by Lone Star Warriors Outdoors based in Tyler, will participate in four days of guided hunts. Founded by Army combat veteran Chris Gill, the organization aims to reengage these warriors in activities they love while providing an opportunity to connect with fellow combat veterans. The program primarily focuses on wounded warriors from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
San Angelo Support for Veterans facilitates these hunting excursions on local ranches and raises funds to cover the costs of the hunts in the area. The veterans will be hunting through Friday.
This year's participants include:
- Sergeant First Class Mike Billingsley, United States Army: 20 years of service, with operations in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq, and two tours in South Korea. He retired in 2016.
- Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Michael Clark, United States Navy (Retired): 20 years of service, with operations in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. He retired in 2019.
- Specialist David Davis, United States Army: Operations in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
- Master Sergeant Jim Knippel, United States Army: 30 years of service, with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired in 2016.
- Specialist Patrick Martin, United States Army: Operations in Iraq.
- Staff Sergeant Matt Mildorf, United States Marine Corps: 10 years of service, with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Sergeant Mark Smith, United States Army: Operations in Iraq.
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tyler Stafford, United States Army: Operations in Afghanistan.
- Sergeant Major Travis Towler, United States Army: Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The veterans were escorted by the San Angelo Jeep Club and local police to the Pearl on the Concho hotel on Rio Concho Drive for a welcoming dinner. Additional events include a dinner on Wednesday night and a game lunch on Friday. The community showed its support as the veterans were warmly welcomed at the airport.