Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother in Arms

Jim Kinsey pauses while carrying
Bo Reichenbach the final few steps
He struggled on all fours but continued climbing with the same dogged determination that marked his distinguished and honored military career. Bo Reichenbach, one of only two double amputee Navy SEALS in all of America, was scaling a steep coulee in Montana. Bo was 95 percent of the way to the top when Jim Kinsey, a former U.S. Marine, stepped in and lifted Reichenbach onto his back. He then powered his way step-by-step to the summit. It was truly an inspirational sight!

Reichenbach is from Billings, Mont. While serving our country on deployment to Afghanistan, he stepped on an IED on July 17, 2012. The explosion caused him to lose his left leg and his right leg below the knee as well as a 40 to 60 percent hearing loss and nerve damage in his right arm. 

He received a Purple Heart just two weeks after returning home to the United States. He has undergone more than 20 different medical procedures since then and continues to recover on a daily basis. Bo also received the Bronze Star, the fourth-highest individual military award and the ninth-highest by order of precedence in the U.S. Military. 

Jana Waller, Bo and Don Reichenbach
Bo hiking in his "shorties"
(short prosthetics)

Reichenbach was in Montana to take part in his first ever elk hunt, arranged and paid for by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. (He visited RMEF headquarters just 13 months earlier.) Kinsey, executive producer and best known as ‘Cameraman Jim,’ was there to help capture it on video for Skullbound TV, a hunting television show hosted by Jana Waller.

Together, Bo, Jim, Jana, guide Jay Pribyl and Bo’s father, Don, spent a memorable seven days chasing elk. They did so through incredibly steep, rough terrain. 

“We dealt with a challenging landscape and awful weather but Bo's warrior heart and persistence was inspiring!” said Waller.

It turns out they needed every single day of the week-long hunt because it came down to the final day for Reichenbach to fill his tag with a 6x5 bull.

“Tears were shed by all when Bo finally connected on his bull,” said Waller. “And when he made his way over, through the thick brush and trees, he wrapped his hands around the bull's antlers where he was missing his 3rd tine and said, ‘Oh look! How cool! He's an amputee too!’” 

Congrats Bo and thank you for your service and sacrifice!

(The episode is reportedly scheduled to air on Feb. 11 on Sportsman Channel.)

Mission Accomplished!
Don, Jana and Bo

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