Serving those who served us


PIQUA — Having a family member who has served the country come home from deployment with an injury is saddening enough; finding a way to cover those costs can make it even harder on the veteran and their family. Luckily, there is a local organization who help these families by the name of Miami Valley Wounded Veterans (MVWV).

You may have heard of Wounded Warriors, the non-profit organization that serves wounded veterans around the nation, but MVWV was created to have a charity closer to home, with 100 percent of profits going directly to a wounded veteran. Members of MVWV are unpaid volunteers.

“We decided as a group, unanimously, that we wanted to keep the money local for local veterans,” Vice President of MVWV Larry Tebbe said. “So we created our own identity.”

Located out of Piqua, the organization serves any wounded veteran from Miami Valley who has served the country. The organization is in it’s third year of existence and are currently working with an attorney to become a 501 (c) nonprofit corporation.

The first veteran MVWV helped came back to the county with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and eventually committed suicide. The funds from MVWV helped to pay for his funeral.

Another veteran MVWV served was a sniper-trained marine who found out had a brain tumor when he returned from deployment and was given only six months to live. The veteran could not work a lot, forcing his wife to pick up two jobs. MVWV helped to keep the family financially stable.

Currently, most of the funds for the organization come from fundraiser shoot-outs through Piqua Fishing Game and Hemloch Sporting Association, their shoot known as the Michael Hemm Memorial Shoot.

The MVWV were approached two years ago by former Judge Michael Hemm, owner of Hemloch Sporting Association, who heard the organization was looking for a place to have a shooting fundraiser. Hemm passed away last year and his wife, Peggy Hemm, helps coordinate the shoot at Hemloch in his honor.

“He didn’t even get to see the first shoot,” Tebbe said.

The shooting events offer 50 bird sporting shoot clay, five stand, and long rabbit shoots. Prizes include pay-out to the first three spots of each Lewis Class, five stand, and long rabbit.

“They don’t have to be real good shooters to participate. Any shooter who loves shooting clay birds will have fun and all money will go to a good cause,” Tebbe said.

The events offer parking, located at The Orrmont Estate, 1612 S. Main St. in Piqua, where golf carts will be available to drive to locations and shooters are welcomed to bring their own golf carts. Also available at the events are food and beverages.

“Everyone who came was really impressed with parking and how the shoot was organized,” Hemloch member Jim Apple said. “It was just a really good day. Everybody responded very well.”

The first year of the shoots raised $4,000 and doubled in the second year. Five veterans were served in those two years. There were at least 104 shooters who participated last year at Hemloch’s.

“We are hoping to double again and help three veterans or more,” Tebbe said. “The more we make, the more we can help.”

The Piqua Fishing Game shoot will take place Saturday, September 19 and the Michael Hemm Memorial Shoot on Saturday, August 15. For more information, contact Tebbe at (937) 418-9011 or Garry Manson, president of Hemloch, at (937) 313-0051.

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