Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Oklahoma Donors Fund Licenses for Veterans, Family Members

 A new donor-funded program of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation will put hunting and fishing licenses in the hands of veterans and select family members at no cost to them.
   "We all know that our country's veterans and the family members of our fallen heroes
deserve our very best efforts to thank them for their sacrifice, and this is just one smalleffort to say 'thank you,' " said Melinda Streich, assistant director of administration and finance for the Wildlife Department. "We have a chance to help provide hunting and fishing licenses to veterans and family members of our nation's fallen heroes at no cost to them, but we need help."
   The Stars & Stripes License Project received kick-start donations Monday during the regular November meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission:
  • Quail Forever presented a donation of $2,000.
  • Bank of Oklahoma presented a donation of $10,000.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation pledged a donation of $2,000.
    While corporate and nonprofit support is critical, the Stars & Stripes License Project 
will rely on donations from the public, which can be made online by clicking on the "Support Our Veterans" rotating image (shown above) at wildlifedepartment.com. Veterans and eligible family members will be able to apply for 2016 hunting and fishing licenses beginning Dec. 1, 2015. Licenses will be provided as long as funding is available. Additional details will be released as they become available.
   Donations to the program will be used to provide state hunting and fishing licenses to
Oklahoma resident veterans, Gold Star Lapel Button recipients (family members of veterans who died in combat), and Next of Kin Deceased Lapel Button recipients (family members of veterans who died while serving on active duty).
   Continued support from the public will be critical for the success of the program.
   Streich said the donation program opens a door to provide hunting and fishing licenses to veterans while adhering to the state's traditional model of funding conservation through hunting and fishing license sales.
   "What better way to fund these licenses than through donations from grateful sportsmen?" Streich asked.
   Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Stars & Stripes License Project online at
wildlifedepartment.com. Organizations interested in donating to the program may also call the Wildlife Department at (405) 521-3851 to make donations. 

Wildlife Department Assistant Director Melinda Streich and license supervisor Mike Chrisman accept a $10,000 donation to the Stars & Stripes License Project from Kris Neuhold and Robert Kindt of Bank of Oklahoma.
Wildlife Department Assistant Director Melinda Streich and license supervisor Mike Chrisman accept a $2,000 donation to the Stars & Stripes License Project from Laura McIver of Quail Forever.