Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
Three dozen veterans from across the country gather at a Dallas shooting range.
13-year Army veteran, Sergeant First Class Aaron Causey spends much of his time recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. But he is spending this weekend in Dallas.
"Oh it's great. So much fun," said Sgt. First Class Causey. "They've got so much for us to do out here at the gun range today it's awesome to be out here and be able to do this."
Sgt. First Class Causey is one of 35 veterans participating in a special weekend organized by the HALO for Freedom Warrior Foundation and Ride 2 Recovery. The events include a morning of sport shooting and a dinner gala at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.
Sgt. First Class Causey is a double amputee, the victim of an IED [Improvised explosive device] blast in Afghanistan back in September 2011.
"A lot of people who haven't been through combat can't relate, but those of us who''re combat veterans can get together and have a good time," said Scott O'Grady of Dallas. The Retired US Air Force Captain is famous for spending six days behind enemy lines after being shot down over Bosnia.
"You get around these guys, you help each other," said Army Staff Sergeant Kiel Vickers, who lost his left leg in Afghanistan. "You get out, you talk, it's therapeutic you get to hang out with guys who know exactly what you're going through."
Air Force Staff Sergeant Bo Wester is still on active duty at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He suffered multiple blast injuries and explained why this weekend is important.
"You carry the burden of chronic pain and PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder], TBI [Traumatic brain injury]... added up it weighs a lot, little things compound," said Staff Sgt. Wester. "And this gives us a chance to take a break from all that and really relax and have a good time."
The event happened exactly one month after Navy SEAL and sniper Chris Kyle was killed at a gun range in Erath County. Police said he was trying to help veteran Eddie Ray Routh at the time of the shooting.
Chris Kyle's brother, Jeff taught a safety class at the event at March 2 event. He did not want to appear in our story. The Kyle family will be honored at Saturday night's gala at the museum.