MIAMI — The annual Mid-America Paralyzed Veterans of America Black Powder Hunt for disabled American veterans officially kicks off Halloween morning in downtown Miami.

The event allows the vets an opportunity to enjoy the “thrill of the hunt” in addition to a weekend of food, fun and fellowship.

Here is information on the participants:

My name is Mark Stever. I was a nuclear weapons specialist in the US Air Force from April 91 to 95. I used to hunt with my father as a kid but only Pheasant, quail, and occasionally some turkey. I have never hunted deer before and have always felt like I was missing out on something. My hobbies are my family and rebuilding cars.

My name is Harold H. Cavanaugh I served in the united states air force from 1970-1990 I have a 100% service connected rating for copd if the weather is very cold or very hot I have great difficulty catching my breath I get winded very easily and cannot walk distances without assistance and require a walker or wheel chair to sit down in. I am 68 years old and I am a city kid from Wichita, Kansas have never been on a deer hunt and have shot skeet a couple of times I shot expert in the air force at a practice range but that was with an m16 not black powder gun. thank you all for giving me the opportunity to take care of this item on my bucket list.

Kevin Nall I was born in 1962, married Tammie (Ellis) 9-3-2015, we have 3 daughters, 2 sons, 1 stepson and 13 grandchildren. I am a member of the Assembly of God. I enjoy all outdoor sporting events.

Dale Jones, (aka Mr Tammy) is a disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He was a plane captain for OV-10 aircraft. He was stationed Camp Pendleton, in California and on the island of Okinawa. He retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Prosthetics Department, after 21 years of service to our veterans. Dale achieved Prosthetics Service Chief of the Puget Sound Veterans Healthcare System, in Seattle, Washington.

Tammy Jones is a disabled veteran of the United States Air Force. She was a Maintenance Scheduler for the F-111 aircraft. In 1986, Tammy suffered a spinal cord injury, during an automobile accident, while stationed in England. She became a quadriplegic and life took on a new "Roll". After 30+ years as a quad, Tammy has gone to college, ran a magazine/website and volunteered with many organizations and at VA Hospitals around the country, wherever Dale's VA career took them. Currently, Tammy is a National Vice President with Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Dale and Tammy decided to retire in the San Antonio, TX area, which is where they have planted their roots. They married in 1999. Dale and Tammy enjoy traveling. They recently purchased a fifth wheel RV, to take longer trips to see more of our beautiful country. They both enjoy hunting and fishing and Dale is a self proclaimed "NASCAR widower" during racing season. They live life in the moment trying to get the most out of each day. They've a strong support system in San Antonio and both are proud to work on being strong supporters of veterans in their community. They both believe in paying it forward and to continue serving veterans, their families and caregivers.

My name is Aubrey Owens. I was born in Cleburne, Texas in 1974, I have 2 children Madison which is 17, and Brandon is 16. I have a spouse of 8 years her name is Christie. I moved to the Grand Lake area when i was in 1st grade, i graduated from Ketchum High School in 1993, I played football, basketball, and baseball thruout my years at Ketchum, I attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1992, after graduation i joined the U.S. Army 1994 -1997 i was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, 1-22Inf Div. I was on a 81mm mortar gunner. I deployed to Haiti under operation uphold democracy. I served as a driver in the presidential security team and also infantry soldier doing day-to-day operations in Purta Prince. I was discharged from the Army in 1997 and returned home. I then in 1998 rejoined the U.S Army reserves and re classified as a 38a10 civil affairs specialist.

After September 11th, 2001 i could not stand what had happened and went down and resigned contracts for the U.S. Army 3 years and was sent to Scholfield Barracks Hawaii, I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division 1-32 Inf as a squad leader, I trained troops for Afghanistan and returned home in 2002 with an honorable discharge medically.

I love to hunt, fish, camp and I collect firearms as a hobby

I am Tom Lynch, single father of two kids, boy 14, and my girl, 11. I enlisted in the active AF in 1986, and was stationed in Minot, ND, a major SAC base. I was young and dumb. I messed up during a flight party, I had never drank before this night. I was discharged after a few months, never able to re-enlist ever. So they thought. I was a volunteer fireman in Syracuse NY, during 911, and decided to try the impossible reenlistment so told me before. I was able, through drivers enlist in the Army National Guard and deeply to Iraq in 2004-05. After returning, I suffered a hemoragic stroke that left me paralyzed on my left side, later having to remove my left leg below the knee. I've been in a wheelchair for 10 years. I am a strong and dedicated follower of Jesus Christ and volunteer at Monett schools an am the Chaplin of the Veteran's Taskforce of America, formally called the Vietnam Veterans of America. I was born in 1968, April 2, and am 51. I have been a Gideon, and am a small group leader in a chemical dependency group of Celebrate Recovery at New site Baptist Church. I was expert with the M-16 and was a weapons qual instructed. I have a concealed carry permit, not from on-line, but from Monett Police Department officer, Paul Ferguson. I don't smoke or drink alcohol. If Jesus won't do it, either will I.

An eighth veteran — Grover Duffield — will be unable to participate due to illness.

The River Bottom Sportsmen (RBS) and Mid-America Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (MAPVA) sponsor the event, which kicks off with an flag raising at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at 1 S. Main Street in downtown Miami. Hunting activities officially kick off early Friday morning on Jack Dalrymple’s farm on the western edge of Miami.

“It’s really an important event because it’s our opportunity to say thank you for a thing that’s not a small deal, and that’s our freedom. These veterans sacrifice everything they’ve got. It’s symbolic of the plan that God set forth for us. We get more out of it than they do (the veterans), I know that, but they seem to think it is the most extraordinary thing that ever happened to them. It works for all of us and it’s good for our community — something you can actually feel really good about,” Dalrymple said.

The flag raising ceremony is the official opening of the hunt and will feature the raising of a garrison-style U.S. flag that will cover the entire front of the building downtown, and that night there will be a banquet for the veterans at the Coleman House Restaurant sponsored by the Buffalo Run Casino. Hunts and activities continue through the weekend.

“Another interesting thing about this project is it doesn’t want for anything. Never. If we need something we just pass the word around and before you know it we’ve got it. So you know it’s the right thing. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be that easy. It’s not about me or us. It’s about God’s plan for this project. It’s His plan and He is working it…I’m just hanging on for dear life. I don’t take credit for anything. It’s the entire community and it’s working really well,” Dalrymple said.

For more information about the event, call 918-533-6889.