ELKINS - An Elkins High School senior, who will graduate tonight, decided to devote his senior project to honoring veterans and their service to America.
Corey Hitt, 18, of Elkins, said he always has admired the service of veterans and active members of the military - so much so, that he plans to join the U.S. Army after graduation.
"I talked to a recruiter, and that's my plan," Hitt said. "I'd like to serve in the Army and potentially pursue a career as a military police officer or in law enforcement."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Chad Clem
Corey Hitt, right, presents a check to Larry Flynn, the president of Potomac Highlands Warriors Outreach Program, after a recent basket bingo event.
Hitt said it was that interest, and respect for military service personnel, that motivated him to do something to benefit those who have served the country.
"I was talking to my teacher about what I should do for my project, and we came up with the idea to do this," he said. "I decided to do a basket bingo activity and make sure all of the proceeds went to help veterans."
Hitt, with the help of his grandfather, got in touch with local businesses who donated items as prizes for the event. Prizes included blankets and a rifle. Hitt's grandfather was able to get the local chapter of the Hogs and Heroes Foundation, which supports public safety and military personnel, to donate money and participate in the project.
The event took place at the Beverly Fire Hall in December. Hitt was able to raise $2,100 and presented the check to Larry Flynn, the president of Potomac Highlands Warriors Outreach Program, later in the winter.
The Potomac Highlands Warriors Outreach Program is an all-volunteer group located in Pendleton County, founded to provide returning Wounded Warriors with wholesome outdoor recreational experiences.
The mission statement of the program, according to its website, is "to provide outdoor sporting opportunities to our nations' wounded veterans in order to help their healing process, welcome them home and repay a debt of gratitude for the great sacrifices they have made."
The group works directly with a number of state and national Wounded Warrior support organizations and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's rehabilitation staff developing outdoor events - hunting, fishing, golfing, whitewater rafting and rock climbing - to aid returning wounded soldiers in their re-acclimation into civilian life.
"All of the proceeds of the program go directly to helping veterans," Hitt said. "The program really helps rehabilitate veterans and gives them a warm welcome after their service. It felt good to be able to give back to veterans, because they give so much for us."
Hitt wants to thank the area businesses that donated to the event as well as giving a special thanks to the Beverly Fire Department for the use of their space and equipment.