Canes for the Wounded Warriors

MG Ickes (left), SSG Chris Mitchell & Family (center), and BG Fick (right)

In 2004, a woodcarver from Oklahoma named Jack Nitz, after watching an ABC News show about post-9/11 veterans, decided to start carving canes for those who had sustained some sort of combat related injury that affected their mobility or use of their legs. His initial concept, which targeted Oklahoman wounded vets, has grown to a nationwide effort called the Eagle Cane Project (

Hank Cloutier, father of Colorado Springs River Rat "Klute" Cloutier, leads a group of Washington DC woodcarvers who participate in the Eagle Cane Project. They takes orders from the wounded warriors in the DC area and then makes their custom canes. When they have a group of canes completed and ready for presentation, Hank contacts Sheila Mulhern, a DC River Rat.

Sheila works at the Pentagon, babysitting general officers. She arranges for one or more of our GOs to make the presentations at Walter Reed or Bethesda. Some of the GOs are River Rats, but if none of the Rat GOs are available, Sheila finds a non-Rat GO to do the job.

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