Veteran honored at DU banquet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Ducks Unlimited banquet was last held last night and was a very special night for two reasons.

First, they honored one of Demopolis’ own local veterans Mr. Charlie Pugh, who just got back from serving a 10-month tour in Iraq. Second, they raised over $10,000 dollars for Ducks Unlimited.

Since their inception in 1937, Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit organization dedicated to waterfowl and wetlands conservation, has conserved over 10 million acres of habitat throughout North America. Some 900 wildlife species, including several that are endangered, look to these areas for their habitat needs. In the state of Alabama, Duck’s unlimited has over 21 active projects impacting over 18,700 acres and representing in excess of a $1.48 million investment in Alabama wetlands. And here in Demopolis there is over 130 acres of land that is receiving aid from Ducks Unlimited to the tune of $56,000.

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The largest percentage of Ducks Unlimited’s conservation expenditure is derived from nationwide fund-raising banquets like this. These banquets are social affairs attended by avid sportsmen and sportswomen who are considered to be conservationists who really care about the future of their environment.

After Mr. Bill Coplin, DU president opened the dinner. The banquet got under way with a seafood buffet with shrimp, catfish and all the trimmings.

Following the buffet feast, it was time to hear from the man of the hour, Ducks Unlimited honored guest Mr. Charlie Pugh, dedicated 30-year veteran of the Alabama National Guard and State of Alabama conservation officer retiree.

Being a true American patriot, Mr. Pugh carries a great deal of pride upon his broad shoulder because he knows that the flag still stands for freedom and he will continue to make sure that no one takes that away. "I would do my tour all over again if need be," said Pugh.

They followed by having an auction of all things hunting, paintings, guns, knives, and statues.

If this sounds like fun, "your more than welcome to come next year," Coplin said.