MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP --
On a sunny Saturday families gathered in Jacksonville, N.C., to spend the day fishing and practicing their archery skills while honoring the life and supporting the last wish of a fallen Navy SEAL.
Triple Nickel, the name of the acres of land owned by the family of the fallen SEAL, hosted the Frogman 3D Bowhunters Challenge, a course filled with life-sized foam animal replicas for bow hunters to shoot. The event also included inflatables, a kid’s fishing tournament, a BB shoot and a dunk tank.
Members of the community arrived in droves to volunteer their time, donate money and support Chief Petty Officer Chris Campbell’s mission for wounded warriors. Campbell was killed in action in Afghanistan last year. In his will, he asked that his name and memory be used to garner support for organizations supporting wounded service members.
Angelina Campbell, Campbell’s wife, said he asked for a goal of 100,000 people to donate to wounded warrior organizations, with no monetary goal; he simply wanted people to support the organizations.
“He was always outdoors,” said Angelina. “Whenever he had down time he came (to Triple Nickel) to hunt with his brother.”
Chris was a native to the area and worked in its parks; he surfed in its waters and hunted in its land. Any quiet calm outdoor location was home to him, said Angeline.
It seemed a no-brainer to the Campbells to hold an outdoor event for Chris.
“Chris was such an avid hunter, and he was just getting into bow hunting,” said Angelina.
He was not alone when it came to archery. Shooters of all ages went through the course shooting longbows and compound bows into their targets.
“I’m glad that archery can be used to as a venue to let others know what the troops give,” said Brennon Morton, a member of the Lejeune Archery Club who volunteered at the event. “Archery can be used as a channel to promote a good cause.”
“Everybody should be helping causes like this,” said Ira Sanders, an employee of Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune and a member of the Lejeune Archery Club. “It’s incredible what service members do for our country.”
Maj. Richard Burkett, a V-22 pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26 feels that events like this are opportunities for wounded service members to get out.
“Marines thrive on competition,” said Burkett. “Being a patient at Walter Reed gives me a new insight into the Wounded Warrior Project. I love to shoot and I wanted to support the program.”
The Frogman 3D Bowhunters Challenge was not the first event held to support Chris, and the Campbells say it won’t be the last.
“We want to keep his memory alive and honor him the best way possible,” said Angelina.