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Founders &
Board Members


Founder & Board Member

Tom Huffington

HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes was started to give back to our soldiers who have given so much.  I'm able to share my passion for hunting and fishing.  The outdoors is the perfect place to heal mentally and physically and enables our soldiers to experience the outdoors in ways they did not know was possible.  This program enables soldiers to network with other soldiers and civilians, just an awesome experience.

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Board Member

Joe Gaither

Tom Huffington approached me about HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes idea in June 2013. Tom is a life-long friend and when he explained his idea and asked if I would be interested in helping, I quickly said yes. I have several family members, and friends, who have served in the military and I always wanted to find a way to give back. My wife and I have three sons and we wanted them to understand and appreciate the freedoms they are provided through the sacrifices of our military family. It has always amazed me how so many people willingly volunteer to defend the freedoms we enjoy. I'd like to thank all of those who have served, or are currently serving, for their selfless sacrifice and let them know they are never alone. I feel sharing our love for the outdoors is a perfect way to do that

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Board member

John Masters

My Passion for the outdoors began at an early age. Thought i do not remember the exact age, I have fond memories of seeing my older brothers Jeff, Tom and Joe pulling in the driveway to show off their whitetail harvests. I dreamed of the day i would be old enough to join them in the woods to chase these beautiful animals. Since then we have enjoyed countless hours together and with our families on fishing trips, scouting trips, hunts, tracking and recovering our harvests, and overall enjoying our time with one another in God's most beautiful creation, nature. Through HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes it has been an absolute honor and privilege to experience and share all the wonderful opportunities and healing nature has afforded me, with some of our nation's greatest heroes.



Matt Graden

After the 2012 deer season, I was approached by Tom Huffington with an idea.  He asked if I'd help him plan, organize, and implement a program to take wounded US Military Veterans deer hunting.  Both, my wife and I, are veterans.  We have many friends and family members that are veterans, some have service-connected disabilities.  My oldest son is currently serving in the Navy.  I was onboard with Tom's idea from day one.


We set the wheels in motion to make Tom's vision a reality in the fall of 2013.  From there, HOOAH DEER HUNT FOR HEROES has grown beyond anything we ever imagined due to the sacrifice, emotions, respect, support, and commitment of our Veterans, volunteers, and supporters.  I am truly blessed to be part of such a great organization. 


Board member

Jeff Gaither

I am a father of three and a retired Illinois State Trooper. This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I realize our freedoms we have in this country are not free and I am honored and humbled by spending time in the woods with our soldiers. Tom huffing ton our founder asked me to help on this project when it started and I have drug most of my family into helping one way or another. 

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Board member

Brian Miller


Veteran Team


Fishing Liaison 

Jared Poppe



Camping Liaison

Josh Ragusa


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