My name is Cody Buckwalter, I am 12 years old and live in Gap, Pa. My story begins on February 14, 1999 as it was for me to make my grand entrance into this world. However, no one could prepare for how life would change for my parents, family and all who would know me. I was born at Lancaster General Hospital with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus and Scoliosis. Within an hour of my birth, I was being airlifted to Hershey Medical Center with surgery being scheduled before I was 12 hours old. Over the next few years, facing many challenges and obstacles, I finally had my last Spinal fusion which lasted 13 hours and placed 2 titanium rods and 32 screws in my spine.
I became involved with MOPA through my Grandfather and a relative of the family, Chad Miller. My Pappy was an avid hunter and was waiting for the day that he could take me hunting with him. Unfortunately, my Pappy got sick and passed away 11 days before his wish could be granted. It was September 16, 2011 and I was to begin my hunt by traveling with my parents and meeting up with Chad Miller and John Phillips from MOPA. On the drive out, we met up with my now good buddy, Damien Rexrode who was going to film the hunt along with John Phillips. We traveled several hours more hours, arriving at Gibbon Glade Whitetail Ranch shortly before 2:00PM. We got to meet the men from the ranch who would guide me on my first hunting experience. Chris Herber, owner and his guide Mike were great! We all geared up in the camo, grabbed the cameras and off to the blind we went!
Our double decker blind gave plenty of room for me, my parents, Mike, Damien, and Chad. John was assigned the second floor for his camera work. About 5:30PM, the first buck to be sighted was spooked and took off. I was nervous, but Chad and Damien assured me that they were there for me and to trust them. Sure enough, it was like Pappy had everything under control from heaven above, because 6:00PM an 11 point buck with a great rack proceeded to walk and park broad side right in front of me. I put the deer in my scope and had the cross-hair right in front of me. The sound of my 243 caliber rifle rang out and Mike verified it was hit. We all gave high fives and shared some hugs and screams of joy! We loaded up my buck, took alot of pictures and headed back to the lodge.
I have nothing but high praise for the great Organization "Moment of Peace Adventures". My adventure began as a dream of my recently deceased Grandfather or Pappy to me, and ended up being more that I could ever imagine.
I came to get my buck with Pappy and I got it. I made some new friends and expierenced many memories that will stay with me forever.
Written By: Cody Buckwalter