The Leavenworth DU chapter is a unique chapter in that the committee consists of Armed Forces members, retirees and base employees from Fort Leavenworth. Pulling their military experience and backgrounds together for recruitment, event organization and committee camaraderie, the chapter became Kansas Chapter of the Year in 2008 and is hosting a number of events this year.
"Their success is based on the nucleus of the committee and the chairman, Jeff Irvine," says Todd Carlton, DU regional director in north Kansas. "I can't say enough about their efforts and some of the more difficult things they overcome as a chapter."
Carlton explains that the committee, mainly consisting of military members, loses more than half their committee every year. As soldiers move on to different duty stations, others fill their role within the chapter.
"They hunt together and help incoming members find places to hunt," Carlton says. "When they have a committee meeting, they usually have a wild game dinner and they spend quite a bit of time together. Their effort really shows their dedication to giving back to the resource."
The Leavenworth DU Chapter hosted a Sportsmen's Night Out event on Aug. 19, 2009 that proved the chapter's hard work and dedication had paid off. The event had 228 people walk through the door, significantly increasing the amount of money raised for the ducks from last year.
"A lot of these guys are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and our chapter gives them the chance to focus on something else for a little while," said Jeff Irvine, chairman and retired Army officer. "We have great committee meetings, shoots, take guys out hunting who wouldn't get the opportunity otherwise and really enjoy giving something back to the habitat."