November 11th, 2015

On Veterans Day — Honor All Those Who Served

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, bugle calls signaled the ‘cease fire’ ending the First World War. (The official Armistice was signed earlier that morning.) To those who endured it, WWI was the “Great War”, “the War to End All Wars.” Tragically, an even greater conflict consumed the world just two decades later.

Today, 97 years after the end of WWI, Americans mark the anniversary of the WWI Armistice as “Veterans Day”. In Canada it is known as Remembrance Day. On this solemn occasion we honor all those who have served in the military in times of war and peace.

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

While more WWII veterans pass away each year, there are still over 23 million veterans in the United States. Take time today to honor those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served their nation with pride. Today we remember that… “All gave some, and some gave all.”

Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake asked Americans to recognize the nation’s 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy: “While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call to military service.”

On Veterans Day we especially need to remember the seriously wounded combat veterans. These men and women summon great courage every day to overcome the lasting injuries they suffered in battle. Some of these soldiers have lost limbs, yet volunteered to return to combat duty. That is dedication beyond measure.

CLICK HERE for List of Regional Veterans Day Ceremonies.

National Veterans Day Ceremony
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Major regional ceremonies and events are also held throughout the country.

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November 11th, 2015

Wounded Warrior Earns Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

On this Veterans Day, we thought we would reprise this inspirational profile of SGT Robert Evans, a U.S. Army veteran who lost his right hand in combat in Iraq. Remarkably, despite his injury, SGT Evans obtained the Distinguished Rifleman Badge. Read on to learn more about this remarkable young soldier.

Wounded Warrior Goes Distinguished
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP writer
At the 2013 Western CMP Games, SGT Robert Evans attained what many shooters seek their entire shooting careers — a Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge. Evans earned his DR badge with just one hand, after losing his right hand while serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warriorSGT Robert Evans: Defying the Odds, Single-Handedly
AFter joining the Army in 2003, SGT Robert Evans served two tours in Iraq, suffering a spinal injury on the first tour. On his second tour, his life changed forever. On May 31, 2007, Evans was commanding a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Iraq. As the Bradley drove under an old Fedayeen guard shack, an IED on top of the guard shack detonated while Evans was reaching out of the turret. The blast amputated Robert’s right hand at the wrist.

Even as a young boy, Evans had always enjoyed shooting. He vowed to stay involved with the sport despite his injury: “I couldn’t give up shooting after I lost my hand. It’s always been too important to me,” he said. “No matter what is going on in my life, when the sights are aligned and the hammer is about to fall, nothing in the world matters at that second. It’s my nirvana.”

Evans worked his way back into the sport by starting in F-Class. The position allowed him to hold hard and pull the trigger, while also being able to use his optics. Then he got involved with J.J. O’Shea’s M1 for VETS Project. The project helps transition wounded combat veterans back into the world of shooting, with equipment arrangements, position training and mental preparations.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

Working with the M1 for Vets group, Evans started shooting again. But there were challenges: “The first time I shot after my amputation, it was very frustrating,” he said. “I couldn’t hold still, and shooting left-handed was so foreign.” Being extremely right-eye dominant his entire life, the loss of his right hand caused him to relearn many things, including how to shoot. Learning how to reload and adjust for wind while slung up became a pain for Evans….

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

In 2008, after several months and rigorous hours of dry firing, Evans found himself crossing the threshold of Camp Perry — a dream he had waited to fulfill his entire life. He scored around 50 points standing, out of 100, on his first trip. Though not bad for someone with an amputation, that wasn’t enough for Evans. He wanted to become a Distinguished Rifleman.

SGT Evans during Team Match at 2013 CMP Western Games.
SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

He began to realize his dream as he earned his first 10 points (towards Distinguished) at Camp Perry in 2012. It took him 15 months to LEG out. His next 6 points came at the 2013 Eastern Games in Camp Butner, NC, followed by 10 more points at the 2013 National Matches. There, hoping to “bronze out,” he managed to one-up himself to actually earn a silver medal.

Then came the 2013 Western Games at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. Never giving up hope and remembering his long journey from the hospital bed to the firing line, he received his final 8 points. SGT Robert Evans had become a Distinguished Rifleman.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

“There was a lot of pressure, speculation and competition as to who would be the first Combat Wounded Veteran to ‘Go Distinguished’ within M1 for VETS,” he said. “I’m very proud to have earned my badge, but more importantly, I hope that more wounded veterans will realize that it is within their grasp. It’s not an impossibility anymore. I hope it motivates everybody to train a little harder and hold a bit tighter – not just wounded veterans. If I can do it, anybody can.”

Posted Courtesy of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, www.TheCMP.org
Author: Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

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November 11th, 2015

Veterans Day Sales, Plus Special Offers for Military Personnel

Here are some special offers for Veterans Day. Along with these specials, Military personnel should check with their favorite online and “brick and mortar” retailers. In many cases active and reserve military can get special discounts in addition to the listed offers.

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Military.com — 100+ Deals for Active and Reserve Military
The Military.com website has a list of special discounts and offers for active and reserve military personnel. There are over 100 Veterans Day deals and discounts for those who register on the site.

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Precision Reloading — $10-$50 Off Coupon Codes
Here are Coupons Codes good for up to $50.00 off orders with PrecisionReloading.com. These codes, 11PR115, 11PR215, and 11PR315, are good through November 13, 2015. This vendor has a full selection of reloading tools and supplies, including hard-to-find Hodgdon powders.

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Freedom Munitions — FREE Shipping on Ammo
Need ammo? Now through November 13, 2015, Freedom Munitions is offering FREE Shipping with all ammunition orders. This includes shotgun shells, rimfire ammo, most popular pistol calibers, and .223 Rem, .300 BLK, .308 Win, and .50 BMG rifle ammunition. Freedom specializes in factory-reloaded ammo make from once-fired brass.

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Brownells.com — Week One of Back in Black Specials
While not specifically for Veterans Day, Brownells launched its Three Weeks of Black Friday Promotion on November 9th. You can find good deals on AR Uppers, Front Rests, Reloading Gear, Barrels, Ammo and more. CLICK HERE for Week One of Brownells Specials.

veterans day sale ammo ammunition

Sears — 40% Off Appliances, and (for Military Personnel) 40% Off Tools
Sears is running a Veterans Day Sale that through November 14. Get 40% off Kenmore appliances, an extra 20 percent off select items, and up to 60% off mattresses, and an extra 20% off select items. NOTE: Active duty, reserve, and retired military personnel can save 40% off regular-priced tools and home appliances, an extra 10% off discounted tools.

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