Photos of West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, which is ranked by the New York Times among the hundred hardest places to live in America.
Through sheer luck, I happened to be in West Carroll Parish during the annual Hunters for Heroes event, hosted by Jimmie and Connie Smith at Blackman Lake Lodge. Even luckier, another local saw me shooting downtown and told me about Hunters for Heroes.
Blackman Lake Lodge, unquestionably, represented an end of the income spectrum that I don’t typically spend a lot of time exploring when I visit my counties– not out of lack of desire, but out of lack of availability.
I felt a little bit like an intruder at Blackman Lake Lodge– I always feel a little intrusive, but moreso in people’s homes. The Smiths, however, welcomed me as I toured their property and spoke with their guests. Connie spoke of how deeply she felt a need to give back to her country in whatever way she could, and how hosting eight veterans for a weekend long hunting retreat was one way she was able to do that. She told me she prayed for peace, and for peace of mind for the veterans.