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Disabled hunter Pays it 4Ward to friend who “goes beyond the call of duty”

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Long before the sun comes up, hunters have already taken their places, camouflaged within the trees.

For one hunter, his disability is camouflaged with heart.

His spirit is infectious and, if you've ever been to Cabela's, he's likely helped you check out.

However, on a morning before work and before the sunrise, he's not hunting.

Instead, Billie Willis met up with NewsChannel 4 and First Fidelity Bank to surprise a man he's known for years, Leon Mixer.

"He's always been a person who just goes beyond the call of duty,” Willis said. “Ever since I've hunted out there, he's always been helping me and people who are disabled."

Willis may work at a hunting and outdoors store but actually participating himself has its challenges.

Mixer works at Arcadia Lake as a maintenance supervisor, where he helped create an area designated for disabled hunters like Willis.

"He was one of the people who really worked on getting that special disability area for us in wheelchairs which is really nice because, if you think of the Arcadia hunt, everybody hunts around the lake, most able bodied,” Billie said. “So, he kept telling me and says 'I'm really trying to work on this project down here. It's right on the back side of the dam. It's owned by the corps of engineering, so it's really nice,' and he said 'Man, if you ever get down there, you guys will enjoy it, and you'll get some deer.'"

So, Willis wanted to show Mixer just how much all of his help means to others.

"Leon, I just wanted to give you just a little token to let you know that we really appreciate you. I really appreciate you, Leon,” Willis said. “I really do, man. Leon, I appreciate you, buddy."

"Hey, you don't know how much we appreciate you,” Mixer said. "You've been very valuable to the operation out here. You bring a lot of charisma, and you bring a lot of really upbeat positive. I mean you show other individuals, even in the situation that you're in, that you can go forward."

The Corps of Engineers owns the land and granted permission to use the area for handicapped hunters.

"It gives me a big heart. I've been blessed, and I want to share my blessing with these individuals who aren't quite as fortunate, and as you can see with Billie right there,” Mixer said. “Billie is a fantastic person, even with the situation that he is in, he keeps moving forward. He stays positive and keeps moving forward. You can't get it any better."

The money will be used for upkeep of the disabled hunting area of Arcadia Lake.

Pay it 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.