Joe Ellis and George Kalmon shake hands after a successful bow hunt. George and his wife provide a bow deer hunt for a veteran at Holy Rosary, Medford, every year. Ellis served in the Air Force during the Vietnam years. (Submitted photo)

Every year, a couple from Holy Rosary Parish in Medford donates a bow deer hunt to honor and give back to a veteran for the Holy Rosary Celebration for Education fundraiser.

Along with their bow hunt donation, George and Rita Kalmon also make a monetary donation to the school in the veteran’s honor.

Veterans from Holy Rosary Parish are entered by friends and family into a drawing; this year’s winner was Joe Ellis, an Air Force veteran who served in Turkey during the Vietnam era.

Ellis was a bow hunter for years, but age and time have made it harder, and he had given up hunting.

The day of the hunt came in September, the early part of bow season. George provided everything; all Ellis needed was a camouflage jacket.

After target practice, Rita drove them out to the stand, leaving them with cookies. The men both climbed up the blind and waited for about 45 minutes before a deer showed up. Ellis took aim and got it.

They shared a cookie to toast the harvest, climbed out of the blind, called for a ride back and loaded up the deer. George took care of everything else, including processing and packaging.

Ellis told parish leaders he was just happy to be able to hunt again; the experience brought back fond memories of hunting on the farm in Minnesota with his family and uncle.

“It was a super treat, most enjoyable,” Ellis said.