Each year, West brings with him to Clay County two veterans who have served valiantly, some receiving serious injuries during the time of service.
Joining West for this year’s hunt are Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Bradley Luke and Peter Johns, who is retired from the Navy after suffering burns on the USS Nimitz.
West began his life in the outdoors at a very early age. He has been an avid bow hunter for 29 years and has been hunting for 30 years. He served in the United States Special Operations Command as an Army Ranger from 1989 to 1997. He is the recipient of the Meritorious Service medal, the Army Commendation medal (5th award), the Army Achievement medal (4th award), jumpmaster wings with combat jump star, the Combat Infantryman’s badge and the air assault badge.
West participated in the nighttime combat parachute assault into Panama for Operation Just Cause and parachuted into Kuwait for Operation Iris Gold during Desert Storm, he also deployed to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy. He has over 100 jumps to his credit. West has completed the US Army Ranger School, Airborne school, Jumpmaster school, air assault school, advanced demolitions training, special operations training, he is a rappel master and a fast rope insertion and extraction master and was a pre-Ranger instructor.
After serving in the military for eight years, West joined the Texas Department of Public Safety, and as a trooper in the highway patrol for 11 years. West received the highest award issued by the State of Texas, the Medal of Valor. He advanced from the highway patrol to the aircraft section where he still serves as a Tactical Flight Officer, stationed in Del Rio.
His service during the military and as a State police officer influenced West to give back to those still serving and in 2006, he founded American Valor Outdoors.
West is an outdoor writer and has contributed to many magazines and publications. He has served as chairman for Trophy Game Records of the World and has been a board member for many other hunting organizations like Safari Club International, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Whitetails Unlimited.