Colonel Peter L. Hilgartner, USMC (ret.)
“was born in Austin, Texas. His father, an eye doctor, owned a ranch near Yorktown, Texas. As a youth, young Hilgartner
had the opportunity to experience life on this ranch. Additionally, he spent six months on the southwest Texas ranch owned
by Herman and Becky Sparks. The story Buckshot and The Boy is a blend of those experiences, as well as the experiences of
his brothers and close friends. As a Marine, he is veteran of both Korean and Vietnam Wars. In Vietnam, he commanded the 1st
Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment earning the nickname from his men of Highpockets, due to his unusual height of 6’ 6”.
He is co-author of Highpocket’s
War Stories and Other Tall Tales, a book which received the 2005 Marine Corps Gazette’s Frances Fox Parry Award for
the best combat initiative story written in the past two years. A 1951 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Colonel Hilgartner
holds an advanced degree in business management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is an
avid outdoorsman and hunter. He is a certified volunteer Senior Hunter Education Instructor with the Virginia Department of
Game and Inland Fisheries outreach courses. Hilgartner and his wife, Sara, and their four dogs reside in Great Falls, Virginia,
on the outskirts of Washington, DC, where they enjoy daily adventures exploring God’s creation.
Colonel Peter L. Hilgartner is the
author of Highpocket’s War Stories and Other Tall Tales and Buckshot and the Boy.
According to the book description of
Buckshot and the Boy, “June was passing quickly. Buckshot concentrated on fence repairs and
improvements to the corrals. Tex was with him constantly, holding the other end when needed. Slowly, the scope of his chores
increased, including the responsibility of grooming the horses and cleaning the stalls. Buckshot became the consummate teacher,
but he also understood the importance of having some recreation at the end of the day. He made certain to include some time
for fun or other pleasantry such as storytelling. As a result, he found Tex a willing and cooperative worker and student.
One day Buckshot asked, "Tex, how would you like to go shooting with me this afternoon?" The boy's eyes widened,
"You bet I would!" "Well, I have an old single shot 20 gauge shotgun I think you can handle and we'll set
some bottles up on yonder fence for you to shoot. We can start after we finish fixing this chute and loading ramp for the
cattle. This will make it quick and easy to load the cows into the trucks. The boy smiled. He had taken off his shirt and
Buckshot observed that his back was completely healed. He also noticed some new muscle developing in the lad's slight
frame. I do believe he's put on a couple of pounds, he thought. Target practice that afternoon was a big success. Buckshot
used the opportunity to teach and explain that knowing how to handle the gun safely was as important as good marksmanship.
Tex took to the instruction like a duck to the water. After supper the trio moved into the sitting room for the evening Bible
reading. When they finished Tex said, "Thanks, Buckshot, for the shooting lesson today. That was sure fun!" He was
quiet for a moment then asked, "Buckshot, have you ever had any bad guys come onto the property, and do rustling or things
like that?" "Well son, as a matter of fact we have." Buckshot leaned back in his chair, a signature move indicating
he was about to tell a story.”