By the time the trip was finished it had become clear that that feeling was mutual.
In a new episode of the Fox Nation series “Fox Nation Outdoors,” Jones traveled to Brays Island, S.C., to the home of Gen. Boomer for two days of hunting and fishing.
“We’re in the coastal, low country of South Carolina, where Gen. Walter Boomer is spending his retirement in a slice of paradise called Bray’s Island, a 5,500-acre plantation with only 325 private residences,” narrated Jones.
“Serving as a staff sergeant in Marines,” he continued, “I didn’t interact with a lot of four-star generals and I’d never met Gen. Boomer. So going into this trip, I didn’t know what to expect.”
Boomer served in the Marine Corps for 34 years, including two tours in Vietnam, as an infantry company commander. As a general, Boomer led all Marines in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War.
He later became chairman and CEO of Rogers Corp. and retired in 2004.
Jones realized very quickly that they would get along quite well.
“When you get two Marines together, even though we’re decades apart in age, it didn’t take much — just a few minutes for us to connect,” said Jones. “And I think we were like two best friends. It was that Marine Corps history together.”
The first stop on the trip was a visit to the range, where Jones appreciated the difficulty of skeet shooting.
“Knowing that I’m proficient with a pistol or a rifle is something that I’m very proud of,” noted Jones, “But it’s not easy to hit those clays with a shotgun. Gen. Boomer really, really humbled me a little bit.”
After that, they set out to hunt for quail and peasants.
Jones, who lost both of his legs above the knee and suffered severe damage to his right forearm and both wrists while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010, had to recruit Boomer’s help to navigate some parts of the field.
“Not only as a hunter but as a wounded warrior, somebody with prosthetic legs, I look at life as not being a limitation, it’s an adaptation,” said Jones. “You have to find the way to do what you want to do, no matter who you are, what challenges you’re facing. Nobody gets to just do it easy.”
“Joey Jones emanates a certain strength of character that’s almost infectious,” said Boomer. “You’re around him and you say he’s inspiring through who he is.”
Both Jones and Boomer also shared an appreciation for the outdoor lifestyle — that they agreed some people do not comprehend.
“I think when it comes to conservation, it’s almost like an iceberg,” observed Jones, “The harvest is the tip of the iceberg, but it’s everything under the water that people [who] don’t hunt or conserve don’t see.”
“We create a great habitat for them here,” said Boomer, “We take care of it. We ensure that it’s going to be here for the future. But quite frankly, that’s what hunters do.”
The following day, Jones and Boomer went fishing for redfish. The fishery off the coast of Brays Island is also, ironically, off the coast of Parris island, the site of Marine Corps recruit training since 1915.
“Who would’ve thought, when I was in Parris Island in the sandpit, doing every exercise they could dream up, that somebody was out here on a boat having the best day of their life — within earshot,” noted Jones, “That’s life going full circle.”
As the trip came to a close, it became apparent that the respect that Jones showed for Boomer was reciprocated in full.
“You know, you’ve heard this before, but you’re an inspiration,” Boomer told Jones, as they wrapped up the day.
“I came to Brays Island to spend two days with one of the greatest Marines of our lifetime, a man who knew how to inspire his troops,” concluded Jones, “To hear Gen. Boomer call me ‘an inspiration’ was a humbling honor. Semper Fi. Always faithful.”
To watch all of the entire “Fox Nation Outdoors” series, including Jones’ hunting trips with the “Motor City Madman” Ted Nugent, and former U.S. Army sergeant and retired mixed martial artist Randy Couture, go to Fox Nation and sign up today.