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Wounded Hero project

From left: Farnes Williams, Rachel Buzzetti, Leon Reginatto and Gil Hernandez. Reginatto received this Remington 700 long range rifle after being selected for the Nevada Outfitters and Guides Association's seventh annual Wounded Hero project.

ELKO — The Nevada Outfitters and Guides Association is working on its seventh annual Wounded Hero project to provide a U.S. military person with a free elk tag and guided week-long Nevada hunting trip during the fall hunting season.

This year’s wounded hero is Leon Reginatto, Vietnam veteran from Dyer, Nevada. Upon graduating from Santa Barbara high school in 1964 he attended Santa Barbara City College for one year. He then enlisted in the army at the age of 19 and attended Fort Bliss boot camp.

In 1966 he was stationed in Germany for one year. He returned and then was given orders to Vietnam and assigned to Headquarters Company 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored, 25th Infantry Division where he became part of the RECON.

In December of 1967 he was on patrol and they got ambushed by North Vietnamese regulars in the middle of the day. Reginatto was typically a gunner/crewman but on this day he was driving the armored personnel carrier out in the lead of 48 tanks. The personnel carrier was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade on the right side where shrapnel hit him in the back and the head. The personnel carrier was severely damaged and not many survived.

A medivac unit landed quickly and transported him to the 249th General Hospital in Japan. Later he was moved to Letterman Army Hospital where he spent five months. He received his Purple Heart in April of 1968.

Optics manufacturer Vortex and the Winecup Gamble Ranch in Montello have again enthusiastically jumped on board as project sponsors. Vortex is donating a rifle scope, spotting scope, binoculars and range finder to the designated wounded hero. The Winecup Gamble Ranch is donating an expensive elk tag as well as lodging for the hunt.

This project was originally inspired by a NOGA member who wanted to do something meaningful to “give back” to those who have laid their lives on the line to protect our freedom. This year two licensed master guides will guide the veteran on a six-day hunt using their extensive hunting expertise and equipment.

NOGA members are working to raise funds for the hunt and gather donations of hunting gear, clothing, and/or cash for the recipient’s travel expenses and pre/post hunt lodging, so the experience will be totally free.

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“Everyone we’ve approached so far echoes the words of the Master Guide who inspired this project: ‘It just feels good to be doing this,’” said master guides Dennis Rechel and Shane Evans. “We hope you will feel the same and contribute whatever you can to help make this hunt a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one of our veterans.”

Please make checks payable to “NV Outfitters and Guides Association” and send them to Nevada Outfitter & Guide Assoc., P.O. Box 28-1251, Lamoille NV 89828.

Contact NOGA secretary Rachel Buzzetti with questions or to arrange for shipment or local pickup of your donated items. All donations to the nonprofit organization for this project are tax deductible.

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