Home Season 2 S2 Episode 5: Guts and Glory

S2 Episode 5: Guts and Glory

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US Army Sergeant Kisha Makerney

If you put a weapon of any caliber in the hands of this feisty redhead, you’d better hope she’s on your side. A deadly accurate shooter, US Army Sergeant Kisha Makerney served her first tour of duty in Iraq right out of high school. Deployed with her Oklahoma National Guard unit, 120th Combat Engineers, she left for Al Taqqadum, Iraq in February 2004 As a part of the Asphalt Section Equipment Platoon, Kisha and her “battle buddies” filled IED (Improvised Explosive Device) holes so they couldn’t be used again and patched mortar holes on helicopter landing pads. Kisha’s unit also applied plated armor to the Ford F-150s they had been issued, and mounted guns to the roofs. In addition her role in the 120th Battalion Security Team, Kisha’s usual perch was between the two “saws” (M249s) blasting targets at 1000 meters. Even though they were fired upon or heard gunfire every day, Kisha returned to Oklahoma in one piece, craving fast food and adrenaline rushes. That’s when she bought the motorcycle, a Suzuki SV 650S. On June 24, 2005, she made a quick trip to Blockbuster while her family was cooking dinner. The front tire blew out, and Kisha flew off the bike. Her body was launched between two road signs as the motorcycle spun into the ditch. Her first emotion was fury that she had wrecked her new bike. Her second thought, as she examined herself, was that she was never going to be able to serve her country again. The lower part of her left leg was hanging by a tendon. Crawling on her elbows, Kisha managed to get to the side of the road and flag down a passing motorist. She was taken to the hospital and then life-flighted to Dallas.

Before she even regained consciousness, the members of her unit were lining the hallways, making calls to every influential military and civilian contact they knew. Knowing Kisha’s character and integrity, they had no doubt she would fight to return to service—even as an amputee. After several surgeries, ill-fitting prosthetics, and instructions not to push herself as hard as she did, Kisha did rejoin her unit. She had taught herself how to walk and run, how to handle any type of terrain or obstacle. She overcame depression and defeat. And she became just the tenth soldier—and the first woman—to return to a combat zone with a prosthetic. This time around, she was a Correctional Instructor for the Iraqis. Presently, Kisha is a Warrior at the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, undergoing training with other wounded veterans. She’s also awaiting either deployment orders to go to Afghanistan with her Oklahoma National Guard unit or acceptance to flight school to operate Apache helicopters.

Nothing seems to faze or even slow down this dedicated soldier. In the meantime, Kisha was selected to appear as a guest on Veteran Outdoors, a television show that surprises wounded veterans with their dream adventures, which currently airs every Saturday morning nationwide on Fox Sports Net. In this particular episode, which will air in the Fall of 2010, the surprise is for the viewer as two women—Kisha, and guest host (and first-time hunter) René Banglesdorf—head out to Sterling City, Texas for a guided whitetail hunt on a ranch operating under a Managed Lands Deer Permit. The first evening the girls, the cameraman and two guides watched several young bucks and nearly a dozen does come and go, grazing in the clearing near the blinds where the hunters were sitting. None were trophy candidates, so they returned to camp empty-handed but excited for the next day. Around the campfire, Kisha enthralled the guys with her tales of shooting every kind of weapon known to man. She proved her mettle the next morning as she put a perfect shot through a “spike,” a young buck with no potential of growing a trophy set of antlers. The buck jumped, took three leaps, smacked right into a tree and dropped ten yards from where she hit him at 140 yards with a Winchester bolt-action .30-06, model 70. Later that night, in an elevated blind on the other side of the property, Kisha was talking about her experiences in the Army when a big, mature ten-point buck walked into the clearing and began munching on the corn the guides had dropped earlier. She watched him for a couple of minutes through the RedHead Epic 3x9x40 scope mounted to her rifle, chambered a Winchester 165 grain bullet and fired as soon as he quartered away from her.

Instead of jumping up in excitement, she kept her head lowered and eyes focused on the buck through her scope, waiting to see if she needed to fire another round. Hit from 130 yards, the 10-pointer dropped right where she hit him. She climbed down the ladder from the blind and sauntered to her kill with a barely discernable limp. Kisha beamed as she examined the antlers and body of her trophy. It was a successful hunt. Guest host René Banglesdorf did not get a deer on this trip but was invited to come back and hunt again. Her story will be featured in a future edition. Article in Guns & Patriots (www.humanevents.com) written by René Banglesdorf, CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation (www.wepushtin.com), and guest host of Veteran Outdoors (www.veteranoutdoors.com).

Part 2

US Army Sergeant Kisha Makerney

A light snowfall set the stage for our hero’s west Texas whitetail hunt on the Butterfield Peak Ranch near Robert Lee, Texas. While the snow didn’t last long, it was evident the friendships made would definitely endure. Army Specialist, Louis Dahlman arrived at the ranch on Friday to join our Hosts, Cody Hirt and Wes Higgins, for a trophy whitetail hunt donated by Sonny Allen with West Pole Partners in Austin, TX. After a brief introduction, it was time to begin the afternoon hunt with a short trip to the range first to zero their rifles.

Louis was accompanied by his close friends, Scott Dunlap and Cary Mansfield, who helped secure the weekend’s surprises. The guests where presented with the latest Game Guard camouflage and Louis was presented with a brand new Winchester Model 70 in 30-06 with a Leupold Scope. During a recent Hunts for Heroes fundraiser held in Austin; hosted by Veteran Outdoors, a chance to co-host an episode was auctioned and Scott Dunlap of Cypress, TX came out the winner. Scott, having recently supported a Hunts for Heroes fishing event where he was paired up with SPC Dahlman, was able to handpick the veteran we took on this adventure. So needless to say, Scott picked the young man he formed a special bond with on this fishing trip for this west Texas whitetail adventure.

The first day’s hunt was less than expected, having seen a few does and young bucks within range. This only accomplished a bright outlook on the rest of the weekend. One thing was apparent; Louis’ patience would definitely be rewarded. The next morning’s hunt was again a suspense builder with Louis and Cody viewing from the blind. Although they again saw a few young bucks, they stayed fast; holding out for the one certain to be Louis’ trophy. Time spent in the blinds is never wasted when hunting with our veterans. Few get the chance to hear these moving stories veterans hold and speak in their own words.

While on deployment in Iraq, Louis received serious injuries sustained in an ambush triggered by a roadside bomb. His vehicle was struck by the explosive, which detonated a short distance away. Louis manned the machine gun above the truck. As medical treatment arrived to assist Louis, very little could be done concerning his injury to his throat and lower jaw. Shrapnel from the blast barely missed vital arteries which in turn allowed Louis to be evacuated in time to safety. We are very fortunate to be able to become friends with veterans like Louis Dahlman. It has become our mission to honor these heroes and broadcast their stories of survival and perseverance. We can only accomplish this through our sponsors, contributors and help from folks like Scott Dunlap and the Hunting Group from the Butterfield Peak Ranch.

The weekend unfolded into an exciting hunt and well deserved get away for our veteran and everyone who shared the honor of his presence. Again, Veteran Outdoors would like to thank everyone who has help make this possible for our veterans. We could not accomplish our mission without you!