Camp gives hope to wounded soldiers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Camp gives hope to wounded soldiers

Camp Hope is a getaway for combat-wounded soldiers. Camp Hope is a getaway for combat-wounded soldiers.
The camp is located near Farmington, and holds between nine and 12 campers for a week at a time. The camp is located near Farmington, and holds between nine and 12 campers for a week at a time.
FARMINGTON, MO (KFVS) -

Some soldiers say good ol' hunting and fishing has helped save their lives.

Camp Hope is a getaway for combat-wounded soldiers, and some say the week away turned their life around.

"I was probably half a trigger pull away from killing myself," said Bobby Lisek.

Lisek lost his leg, and suffered other injuries, while serving in Iraq.

"When you first come home, you're all jacked up, you may not have a leg, you might be paralyzed, not think you'll ever amount to anything in your life," said Lisek.

Now, he attributes Camp Hope with saving his life.

"That's our pay day, when you have a soldier give you a bullet that he was going to use to kill himself, you can't beat that," said William White.

White started the camp to honor his son, who was killed while serving in Iraq.

"I figured why not try to help other people by doing something he liked to do," said White.

"They may have lost one son, but they've gained so many daughters and so many sons," said Lisek.

Sons and daughters that now see hope.

"It's a lot of therapy for a lot of people," said White.

The camp is located near Farmington, and holds between nine and 12 campers for a week at a time. They have three cabins, and more than 100 acres of land. The expense is completely free to the wounded soldiers, and is an escape for them from the outside world.

"They talk about how they don't feel like they belong, it's like we expect them to go over, we expect them to fight for us, and then come back and fit in and there's no way for them to do that," said Ann Marie Christofferson.

Christofferson lost her son while he was serving in Iraq. She said she has a little glimpse into how the guys feel just based on conversations she had with her son before he was killed.

"Sometimes it doesn't take a degree; it takes somebody who's been where you've been," said Christofferson.

"They help each other," said Terry Wells, one of the volunteers.

"I didn't want to come, after the first day of hunting, I never wanted to leave," said Lisek.

"In the woods it's like a meditation, and when they come out of the woods they sit around the campfire, sit around the lodge, talk to each other about problems, things they've been through," said Wells.

"This gives them the opportunity to be around people that's had their boots in the same dirt," said White.

White and Lisek said the camp helps the soldiers get back to doing things they used to do, like hunting or hiking.

"By God you saw me do it, so get out there and do it," said Lisek.

"They see one soldier do something and they're like well if he can do that, I can do that," said Wells.

"Sometimes we get calls from some of the doctors that treat these folks and want to know what we're doing to make them feel so much better about themselves," said White.

Going in to camp, they had their service in common, leaving the camp, they have a common hope.

"They feel like they don't have any friends they don't have anybody at all, now when they leave here, they do have somebody," said Christofferson.

"We're not really doing anything special, we're just treating them like people," said White.

You can find more information on the camp at the Camp Hope website here.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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