Back In the Game: Hunting trips aimed at healing combat veterans’ spirits

lCpl Knight

RAYMONDVILLE — On a recent day in South Texas, a fresh-faced Marine from Kemp, Texas, sits at a local rancher’s dining room table, talking about hunting and fishing.

Sitting in a wheelchair, he also recounts in his steady Texas drawl how he lost his legs June 27. Lance Cpl. Jeff Knight, 23, was on his second tour in Afghanistan when the blast from an improvised explosive device sheered off both legs at the knee.

It was just two months before his birthday, and Knight, a combat engineer, had been sweeping for mines during a patrol.

The recounting is one of the few moments in the conversation in which his hint of a smile fades and his tone becomes serious.

With his black cowboy hat propped on the table nearby, and the black gloves that help with his grip still on his hands, Knight talks not only about what happened to him, but also about the need to move forward.