COLTON EDWARD DANIEL
DR. CODY WAYNE PALMER
WADE ALAN COSGROVE
MARIE REBECCA DANIEL
ABOUT BIG COUNTRY VETERANS
The purpose and passion of Big Country Veterans ("BCV") is to honor and support those who have sacrificed so much for our nation’s freedoms. It is our mission to promote awareness of these sacrifices and foster healing environments designed to transform wartime experiences into positive memories for combat veterans and their families.
In an effort to get veterans back into their element without the danger of actual combat, the first annual Helicopter Veterans Weekend was held in 2014 by Semper Gratus, Inc. in Ennis, Texas. Due to land constraints and the desire to focus on the core purpose of the event, Mike Burress, with Semper Gratus, began to seek alternate sites to host the event. Vietnam veteran Tom Cartlidge, who had been supporting the event for several years, felt there was synergy in the mission of Semper Gratus and the Daniel Family, owners of the Circle Bar Ranch in Truscott, Texas. The abundance of land and invasive feral hog population plaguing the Circle Bar Ranch and surrounding areas of Truscott seemed to be the perfect location for the event. Tom organized a meeting with Semper Gratus representatives and the Daniel family (Jerry Bob, Eugenie, Colton, and Becky) to discuss the opportunity. With open arms, the Daniel Family agreed to support this great cause and, in 2016, Semper Gratus began utilizing the Circle Bar Ranch as the home for the annual event.
Colton Daniel worked closely with the Semper Gratus team on the scheduling, planning and logistics of the event. Cody Palmer, longtime friend of the Daniel Family, assisted in veteran support and activity planning/management during the event. Lee Harvey, then County Commissioner of Wichita County, took on the challenge of supplying food and beverages for the entire weekend, which would ultimately lead to the formation of the Redneck Culinary Academy, a separate 501(c)(3). Dustin Johnson and Garret Durrett of Cedar Ridge Aviation were brought in to provide helicopter operations and flight management. Also assisting were numerous active duty and retired military members from Shepard Air Force Base who volunteered their time to manage flight control and provide support for all activities throughout the weekend.
This group of family and friends worked closely together over the next three years to ensure the continuation and success of the event. In January 2019, Semper Gratus stepped down from their leading role and presented this opportunity to the remaining team members. Understanding the value and unique healing experience of the event, Colton Daniel, Cody Palmer, Lee Harvey and Becky Daniel united to continue the mission, forming BCV of Texas, LLC (Big Country Veterans). The Truscott Community Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3), was designated as the vehicle by which they would operate the organization.
With less than three months to prepare, BCV got to work, soliciting the continued support of Cedar Ridge Aviation, Redneck Culinary Academy, and volunteers from Shepard Air Force Base. Additionally, Dan Brown, Purple Heart Recipient and 2016 event veteran alumni, agreed to serve as the head of Veteran Selection for the upcoming event. Through their combined efforts under the new banner, the weekend was a huge success and set the path forward for BCV.
Due to the growing awareness and outpouring of support, BCV is now expanding its impact through additional events and collaborative partnerships. With our founding purpose and mission leading our vision, we are excited for the opportunity to further give back to our veteran community.
Since its inception, BCV has been dedicated to the authentic and genuine support of the veteran community and showing our appreciation to those who have selflessly sacrificed for this great nation. We believe it is our lifelong mission to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.
To learn more about our cause and find out how you can get involved, please contact us below.