November 11th, 2017

Veterans Day — November 11th — Honor All Who Served

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

On that day, let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

– 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veterans Day proclamation.

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, 99 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 21.8 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 21.8 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.

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

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November 11th, 2017

Oregon Wilderness Camp Serves Recent Combat Veterans

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

Finding Peace On The Other Side Of War
NRA Blog Story by Catherine Parks, Divide Camp Volunteer

For combat veterans there is a great divide between life pre-war and life post-war. Soldiers prepare, train and are equipped to go to a war zone, but, upon returning home, physically and psychologically injured veterans struggle to assimilate back into a normal life. Divide Camp, located in northeastern Oregon, honors the service of post 9-11 combat veterans through small-group outdoor adventures. The non-profit camp offers hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities. Learn More HERE.

Divide Camp provides lodging, home-cooked meals and transportation at no charge to the veterans served. The camp features 40 acres of remote forestland, six cabins, a shop and an outdoor picnic shelter. In 2014, The NRA Foundation funded its first grant to Divide Camp — $15,000 for an Action Trackchair — to allow amputee veterans to traverse the mountain terrain.

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

Another grant in 2015 funded pistol range construction, safety gear and targets. Initial range work for a competition 3-D archery course shootable from a Trackchair began with funding from an NRA Foundation grant in 2016.

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

How Divide Camp Helps Rebuild Lives
Army veteran Jose Martinez stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Following numerous surgeries and months of therapy, Jose was fitted with prosthetics, which allowed him to walk. Still, extreme depression set in and two suicide attempts followed. On his first day at Divide Camp, Jose used the new all-terrain wheelchair to hunt. “I missed the first couple of times, but my friends didn’t give up on me and Divide Camp didn’t give up on me, and I got one the next morning,” Jose said. “Elk hunting was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. How many amputees in California can say they shot an elk?” Jose stayed in a new cabin built to accommodate veterans with disabilities.

Just being in nature is an amazing healer
Julie Wheeler, Divide Camp executive director, has served as a critical incident stress worker to help others prevent post-traumatic stress disorder. She is familiar with what happens when people are exposed to high stress and trauma. “I know it takes a long time to overcome,” Julie said. “I think they need help beyond what’s provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is drugs and therapy. Just being in nature is an amazing healer.”

Read Full Story on NRABlog.com »

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

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September 5th, 2017

Thinking Outside the Box — Stan Ware’s Wicked No-Neck Wolfpup

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

Think you need a relatively long case-neck for good accuracy? Think again. Stan Ware broke all the rules with his radical Wolfpup cartridge, proving that a near-no-neck design can deliver match-winning accuracy. Read on to learn how the Wolfpup works…

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesRetired gunsmith Stan Ware is a talented shooter who’s not afraid to think “outside the box”. Stan competes in both Hunter Benchrest (HBR) and Varmint for Score (VFS) disciplines. In his quest to build the ultimate Hunter Benchrest cartridge, Stan created the radical “Wolfpup” wildcat, based on a 6mmBR parent case. Noting the dominance of 30 BRs in VFS matches, Stan wondered if a stretched 30 BR could work in HBR competition. The challenge was case capacity. Under HBR rules the cartridge must hold at least 45.0 grains of water, equal to the capacity of the classic 30/30 case.

To get the requisite HBR case capacity, Stan figured he needed to boost the volume of a 30 BR case significantly, so he would have to move the shoulder forward — a lot. He did this by running a 30 BR reamer deeper and deeper, test-firing brass along the way. After three reamer passes, he ended up with the capacity he needed (the Wolfpup holds 45.3 grains of water). But then he looked at the finished product — a case with almost no neck, and he wondered “how could this possibly work?”.

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesFrom Trashbin to Winner’s Circle
Ware’s prototype Wolfpup ended up so short-necked, so unlike any “normal” cartridge, that Stan figured it was “dead on arrival”. Stan told us: “I said ‘this ain’t going to work’ and I threw the brass in the trash can. Honest. But later I thought I better shoot it and see what it does.” There was one problem — Stan didn’t have a seating die. He noticed the short neck provided a bit of tension after fire-forming, so he literally seated some bullets, BIB 118s and 125s, with his fingers. For powder he used H4198 and started with 35 grains, one grain more than a 30 BR load. Stan then did a pressure work-up: “I actually went up to 41.0 grains and didn’t have a sticky bolt. I ended up at 37.9 grains of Hodgdon 4198 — that gave 3150 fps, where the sweet spot is.” (Later testing revealed a second accuracy node at about 3020 fps, using 36.4 grains of H4198).

Stan’s radical short-necked Wolfpup shot great from the get-go. Once he found the right velocity node, the gun shot in the ones and zeros with both 7-ogive and 10-ogive bullets, both 118s and 125s. The Wolfpup proved easy to tune — it’s not finicky at all. And it’s a winner. Stan began shooting the Wolfpup in 2006 in both VFS and HBR matches and the ‘Pup’ started winning matches right away. In 2007, Stan won the Wisconsin State VFS Championship shooting the Wolfpup. In June 2010 at a Webster City, Iowa VFS match, Stan won the Grand Agg and posted high X-Count for the match, while placing first at 100 yards and second at 200 yards. How’s that for a cartridge that almost ended up in the trash bin?

Does Stan deserve an award for “most innovative benchrest cartridge design”? Stan chuckles at that notion: “I’m not a hero, not a genius. I really didn’t do anything. The fun part is thinking outside the box — for me anyway. Shooting is an age-old process of experimentation. You never learn it all.”

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom Rifles

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom RiflesWhy Does It Work?
How can such a radical case design perform so well? “That’s a good question,” Stan admitted. He then explained: “The 30 BR is inherently accurate, so I figured something based on the 30 BR should be accurate too. My personal belief is that the short neck doesn’t hurt you. Plus if the throat in the barrel is straight, the bullet can self-align. If the chamber is good, the bullet will self-center in the throat. In a regular case there’s not much room to do that, so a bullet can start off-center, and you don’t get the same results every time. A bullet in a conventional case is stopped from self-centering by the stiffer neck, particularly in a tight-clearance BR gun.”

Reloading the .30 Wolfpup
Stan’s Wolfpup chamber has a neck dimension of 0.330″. He turns his necks for a 0.327″ loaded round. Bullets are jammed .020″ forward of first contact with the lands. When he closes the bolt it pushes the bullet back in the case — almost a soft seat. Stan notes: “To start with I normally bump the shoulder .0005-.001″ so they go in easy. Just by doing that I get a little neck tension. I also use a bushing. Right now I’m running a .322, but it’s not particularly sensitive. I’ve tried one-thousandths increments up to a .325 bushing and couldn’t tell a lot of difference.” For bullet seating, Stan uses a Wilson 30 BR seater die into which he ran the chamber reamer. This gives perfect case fit during seating operations.

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

About the Illustrated Gunstock
You’ll notice Stan’s stock contains scenes from Vietnam and a quotation. Here’s the story. A Vietnam combat veteran, Stan served “in-country” with the Army’s 509th Non-Divisional Combat Unit (out of Fort Riley) from 1965-1966. Shortly before he left Vietnam, Stan went to a shop to have a souvenir lighter engraved. He asked the vendor for an appropriate inscription. The shop’s metal-worker engraved: “War is a tragedy. It takes mans’ best to do mans’ worst.” That message, along with the combat scenes, were hand-painted on Stan’s rifle by his wife Susan, a talented artist. She spent more than 20 hours painting the rifle stock.

Photos courtesy Ryan Ware and Stan Ware.
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May 29th, 2017

Honor Our Fallen Warriors on this Memorial Day

Arlington Cemetery Old Guard Flags Graves
Flags placed in Arlington National Cemetery by members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the “Old Guard”.

Memorial Day 2010

Today, Memorial Day, Americans will honor the sacrifices of military men and women who paid the ultimate price in their service to our nation. More than 1.2 million American men and women have died in military service during wartime.

memorial day 2017 battle death number statistics
Source: Prospect.org project based on U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs data.

“The fallen warriors we honor on Memorial Day cherished liberty and freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life,” said past Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We owe them eternal gratitude and we must pass those sentiments on to future generations.”

Memorial day

What Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

On Memorial Day, the United States flag is traditionally raised to the top of the staff, then solemnly lowered to half-staff position until noon, when it is raised again to full-staff for the rest of the day. The half-staff position is to remember the more than 1.2 million men and women who have given their lives for this country.

Six Things Every American Should Know About Memorial Day.

Memorial Day
Flags and flower leis adorn each grave in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in observance of Memorial Day, 1991. (U.S. Navy photo by OS2 John Bouvia, released).

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day Decoration Day

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November 11th, 2016

Honor All Who Served on This Veterans Day

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

On that day, let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

– 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veterans Day proclamation.

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, 98 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 21.8 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 21.8 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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June 19th, 2016

Make This Father’s Day Something Special

fathers day 2016 father

On Father’s Day, time spent together is more important than any gift that comes in a box…

Father Father's DayToday is Father’s Day, a special Sunday when we acknowledge our patriarchs and show our gratitude for all their hard work and sacrifice on our behalf, and the love they have shown us over the years. If you’re lucky, you’re reading this after having spent a day at the shooting range (or the local fishing hole, or golf course) with your Dad. The important thing is to be together with “Pops” and do something you both enjoy together. If you haven’t finalized your Father’s Day planning, here are some suggestions:

1. Hand-wash and wax your father’s truck or car.

2. Clean your dad’s rifles, or help him put together some handloads.

3. Take your dad out to a live music concert, go to a ball game, or maybe head down to the local fishin’ hole.

4. Go for a hike together or just a drive in the country.

5. Head down to Sears or the local hardware store and let you Dad pick out some new tools.

6. Sit down with your dad, bring a note pad, and ask him to tell you some stories about his youth, or his military experience. Your Editor learned some amazing things about my own father this way.

Whatever you choose to do with your father, use your time wisely. Turn off your computer, and go be with your father today. Do something with him that makes him smile. The time spent together is more important than any gift that comes in a box. And, if he lives far from you, give him a call and let him know how important he is to your life. Remind him of the old adage: “Good fathers make good sons”.

When my father, a disabled WW2 Army vet, passed away I received the flag that was draped on his coffin. On most days I fly one of those nylon flags that you can pick up at hardware or department stores. But on holidays, like today, and his birthday, Dad’s flag is out there snapping in the breeze on top of the pole. I find myself talking to him as it gets put up in the morning and comes down at sunset. Hope when the time comes one of my boys will fly my flag.
— Bill Slattery Jr.

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass”! “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply, “We’re raising boys”.
— Harmon Killebrew.

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May 26th, 2014

Memorial Day — Honor the Fallen

Today is Memorial Day, the date we honor those service men and women who have given their lives in defense of their country and freedom. Take time today to honor our fallen heroes. Our world would be a far different place without their sacrifices.


“Last Rites” (U.S. Navy photo, National Archives).

YouTube Preview Image


Arlington National Cemetery

The top photo shows U.S. Navy Chaplain, LCDR Joseph O’Callahan administering last rites to an injured crewman aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13) after the ship was struck by by two armor-piercing bombs from a Japanese dive bomber on March 19, 1945. Chaplain O’Callahan received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions onboard.

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March 10th, 2014

One-Handed Wounded Warrior Becomes Distinguished Rifleman

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 warrior

CLICK HERE to Read Full Story on CMP Website
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

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

Commentary by German Salazar
Robert Evans’ inspirational effort is a fresh reminder of the value of marksmanship in creating a focused challenge and reward that can help our wounded warriors regain the confidence and motivation to succeed in all aspects of life.

Robert’s effort is very reminiscent of that of Karoly Takacs, a Hungarian pistol competitor who lost his right hand in a grenade accident in World War II. Determined to overcome the injury, Takacs taught himself to shoot left-handed after the war and earned gold medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games. Robert brings that Old World grit and determination into the modern day and into the context of our nation’s most historic and cherished award for marksmanship. Robert’s Distinguished badge will shine brightly as a beacon to those who face challenges in their lives and can find a path to renewal in the brotherhood of marksmen. We salute him for his efforts and for the inspiration he brings to us all.

Editor’s Note: Our contributor German Salazar is a Distinguished Rifleman, Distinguished Pistol Shot, Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman (NRA) and a dedicated student of shooting history. You can find many technical and shooting history articles at his RiflemansJournal.com website.

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June 6th, 2013

Remembering D-Day: June 6, 1944

Sixty-nine years ago today, on June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy as part of Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious invasion in history. The ultimate goal was the liberation of Europe. The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, and naval bombardments. In the early morning, amphibious landings on five beaches, code-named Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword commenced. During the evening the remaining parachute divisions landed. The D-Day Normandy landings were the first successful opposed landings across the English Channel in over eight centuries.

Thousands of soldiers, sailors, and aviators gave their lives on June 6, 1944, so that Europe could be liberated. We should remember those brave men, and never forget that freedom is not free — it requires continuing vigilance and sacrifice.

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November 11th, 2011

Honor All Our Veterans Today…

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.

YouTube Preview Image

Today, 93 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. 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.” Major Veterans Day observances are scheduled at more than 50 sites in 29 states.

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. CLICK HERE for inspirational profiles of wounded vets who, through courage and determination, have learned to adapt to their disabilities. Some of these soldiers have lost limbs, yet volunteered to return to combat duty. That is dedication beyond measure.

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 and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. Major regional ceremonies are also held throughout the country. CLICK HERE for list of regional Veterans’ Day events.

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May 9th, 2011

S&W Rebates for Active, Retired, Disabled Military and Reservists

Smith Wesson Military rebateSmith & Wesson now offers a rebate program providing substantial savings on gun purchases for active, retired, and disabled U.S. Military personnel and Reservists. This program, which runs now through December 31, 2011, provides rebates on M&P rifles, M&P pistols, and S&W revolvers. Rifle rebates are $100.00 while pistol and revolver rebates are $50.00. Purchase rebates are limited to one rifle, one pistol, and one revolver per customer. CLICK HERE for details.

CLICK HERE to download Rebate Coupon PDF

REBATE RULES: This offer is available to ALL active duty U.S. Military, Retired Military with retired Military Status, active National Guard Reservists and Disabled Veterans of all U.S. Military branches including U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Residents only. To qualify, customers must submit the following documentation: 1) the Redemption Coupon; 2) a copy of sales receipt; and 3) a copy of the front side of your Military ID card (active or retired) or, a copy of a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) or, a copy of your Military Orders. All requests for rebates must be postmarked no later than January 16, 2012. If submitting LES or Military Orders, please attach a copy of your driver’s license. Factory direct and Law Enforcement Agency purchases do not qualify.

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February 28th, 2011

Last American WWI Veteran Passes at Age 110

Frank Buckles, the last living American WWI veteran, passed away Sunday at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia. He was 110 years old, having marked his 110th birthday on February 1, 2011. In recent years, Buckles worked with groups seeking to establish a Memorial in Washington, DC for all WWI veterans. READ Related Story.

Rest in peace Mr. Buckles — we salute you for your service, as we salute your fellow soldiers who passed before you. 4,734,991 Americans served in uniform during World War I. They fought on land and sea, in the first true global conflict. By the end of WWI over 15,000,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide had died in that conflict, including 120,000 Americans (as many from disease as from wounds). A thousand U.S. soldiers died every DAY in the 3-week Meuse-Argonne offensive.

The Last Doughboy
Army veteran Frank Buckles was the last surviving American “Doughboy” who fought in Europe in “The Great War”. His story is a profile in patriotism (and youthful exuberance). When only 16 years old, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines. They turned him down, so he joined the Army, lying about his age. He served in Britain and France as an ambulance driver, then helped escort German prisoners home to Germany after the surrender.

In an interview a few years ago, Buckles recalled his service in the Great War, explaining why he joined the Army at age 16: “When your nation calls,” Buckles said, “you have to go”. (Read recent interview.)

WWI veteranWWI veteran

Following WWI, Buckles wanted to see the world, so he took work with a steamship company. That job placed him in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. He was captured and interred in a prison camp for three years before being liberated. To learn more about Frank Buckles and his experiences in WWI and WWII, CLICK HERE for USAToday Feature Story. (Highly recommended–worth reading.)

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December 26th, 2010

PVA-ORHF Organizes Outdoor Recreation for Wounded Veterans

The Paralyzed Veterans of America-Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund (PVA-ORHF) provides recreational opportunities for seriously wounded veterans. According to the PVA-ORHF, when wounded servicemen and women are asked what they’d like to do again during/after their rehabilitation, a frequent answer is: “I’d like to go hunting and fishing again.” PVA-ORHF makes that possible. These programs help our heroes heal, gain confidence in their abilities, build new support networks and, in general, be happier and more positive about life. Scheduled 2011 events for wounded veterans include:

PVA ORHF VeteransJan: Devil Dog Elk Hunt — Raton, NM
Feb: Pig Hunt Bradley Ranch — Amarillo, TX
March: Turkey Hunt — Jacksonville, FL
April: Turkey Hunts — Amarillo, TX and Billings, MT
May: Turkey Hunt — Warrenton, VA
May: Black Bear Hunt — Tyonek, AK
July: Kenai Fishing — Kenai, AK
Sept: Moose Hunt — Chena Lake, AK
Oct: Pheasant Hunt — Parker, SD
Nov: Whitetail Deer — Warrenton, VA

You can assist PVA-ORHF in its efforts by making a tax-deductible gift. Log on to www.100000patriots.org where you can donate to a permanent endowment fund established to support hunting, fishing, shooting and other outdoor activities for America’s wounded heroes. To learn more about PVA’s outdoor programs for wounded veterans, visit www.pvaheritagefund.org.

PVA ORHF Veterans

“Sports and outdoor recreation play an enormous role in helping our seriously wounded veterans help themselves. Sports are life saving and quality-of-life changing. You just need to see the faces of these guys and gals, many of whom had lost the will to live when they were injured, to understand the impact sports have. Thanks to ORHF and Paralyzed Veterans of America’s world-class sports program, these folks go from hospital beds to taking their first steps back to independence-whether it’s through trap shooting or shooting hoops.

We support many different outdoor sports including fishing, hand-cycling, recreational shooting and hunting, and other sports. Our events are open to all America’s paralyzed veterans and all people with disabilities.”

Joseph L. Fox, Sr. (US Marine Corps, Ret.)
Chairman, Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund

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July 14th, 2010

Special Forces Sgt. Assists Veterans Despite His Own Injuries

This profile of disabled veteran Dwight Hayes (Sgt. U.S. Army, retired) first appeared in the NRA Blog. While competing in the Airgun match at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Colorado, Hayes was interviewed by NRA correspondent Lars Dalseide. Hayes’ strong will and his determination to serve others provides an inspiration for all of us.

Dwight Hayes Special ForcesSgt. Dwight Hayes — Overcoming Adversity by Lars Dalseide
Dwight Hayes is a regular at the Bracken Rifle & Pistol Range in San Antonio, Texas. With his Lone Star cap snugly in place, he goes to the range to work on guns, organize shoots, and gather with friends. It’s a long way from his time as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but it’s time well spent.

“If you’re in San Antonio, Bracken is the place to be,” said Hayes. “Bracken and the folks at Alamo Mobility have been great to us disabled vets.” Working with disabled veterans is of great importance to Dwight. It’s an attitude he developed while hospitalized after a failed High Altitude Low Opening, or HALO, jump. Having more than a hundred such jumps under his belt, this one should have been all but routine.

Dwight Hayes Special Forces“I broke one of my rules,” smiled Hayes, adding: “Gotta stick to the rules.”

So what are the rules?

“During a HALO jump, you’re okay if you can see the road. If you see the cars, you’re still okay. If you can make out the color of the car, you’re still okay. If you can tell the difference between a Ford and a Chevy, you’re still okay. If you can make out the gender of the driver, you’re still okay. But if you can make out the license plate, then you’re in trouble.”

Before there’s a chance to react, Dwight rocks his wheelchair with laughter and slaps my back. Apparently the story is a standard. “They love that one back at Audie Murphy.”

Hayes refers to the Audie Murphy Veterans Memorial Hospital back in San Antonio. According to Hayes, they have one of the best Spinal Cord Injury Centers in the country. It’s also where he spent two years recovering from his failed HALO jump. Now he goes there to comfort those new to the ward.

Dwight Hayes Special Forces“I know what it’s like,” Hayes said. “I know all about time alone, watching the walls, sitting in an empty hospital. I go there and get them out.”

With assistance from Audie Murphy and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Hayes and other vets do their best to take the patients out into field. Everything from deep sea fishing to time on the range (sponsored by Winchester) to hunting trips.

“They even have a deer lease,” said Hayes. “Got a doe and an eight-point buck last season.”

The main lesson he tries to pass on is perseverance. He shares this through the story of his injury, his rehabilitation, and his twenty-five years in the U.S. Army. “The injury occurred eighteen years in,” Hayes explained. “I was able to serve a full twenty-five because I successfully petitioned for reinstatement after demonstrating that I could still do my job. Maybe, some of the kids at Audie will hear that and know they can still be productive too.” And that, too, will be time well spent.

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April 26th, 2010

‘Old Sniper’ Honored in Shooting USA Repeat Episode

On Wednesday, April 28, the Shooting USA TV show reprises its special “Old Sniper” broadcast. In this popular episode, 84-year old WWII veteran Ted Gundy, who served as a U.S. Army sniper in the Battle of the Bulge, meets with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Fort Benning. For a week, the “Old Sniper” (and his son) were honored as VIP guests of the USAMU at Fort Benning.

Old Sniper Shooting USA

At the end of the show Gundy received a new replica of the 1903 Springfield A4 Sniper rifle. The rifle, complete with vintage-type scope, was presented by Val Forgett of Navy Arms. Then, shooting from a rucksack rest, Gundy proceeded to hit steel at 300 yards. CLICK HERE for Full Story with details.

Old Sniper Shooting USAOld Sniper Shooting USA

This Shooting USA Special broadcast helps viewers remember our remaining WWII veterans, while showing the dedication and hard work of the modern-day USAMU. Broadcast times (on the Outdoor Channel) are shown below (check your local listings).

Eastern Time: 2:30 PM, 10:30 PM, 2:30 AM (Thursday); 4:30 PM (Saturday)
Central Time: 1:30 PM, 9:30 PM, 1:30 AM (Thursday); 3:30 PM (Saturday)
Mountain Time: 12:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:30 AM (Thursday); 2:30 PM (Saturday)
Pacific Time: 11:30 AM, 7:30 PM, 11:30 PM: 1:30 PM (Saturday)

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February 18th, 2010

'Old Sniper' Meets USAMU in Shooting USA Episode

A touching episode of Shooting USA aired yesterday on the Outdoor Channel. Luckily, it will be repeated this Saturday, February 20th. In this show, 84-year old WWII veteran Ted Gundy, who served as a U.S. Army sniper in the Battle of the Bulge, meets with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Fort Benning. For a week, the “old sniper” (and his son) were honored as VIP guests of the USAMU at Fort Benning. This story was broadcast on the “Impossible Shots” segment of Shooting USA. CLICK HERE for Full Story with details.

Shooting USA Old Sniper

Gundy, who lost his right leg to an artillery shell, can still wear his WWII uniforms. He regularly puts on his “dress greens” when attending funeral services of Army veterans, a service he renders as a member of the Missouri Honor Guard.

Shooting USA Old Sniper Shooting USA Old Sniper

At the end of the show Bundy received a new replica of the 1903 Springfield A4 Sniper rifle. The rifle, complete with vintage-type scope, was presented by Val Forgett of Navy Arms. Then, shooting from a rucksack rest, Bundy proceeded to hit steel at 300 yards.

Shooting USA Old Sniper

This Shooting USA Special broadcast helps viewers remember our remaining WWII veterans, while showing the dedication and hard work of the modern-day USAMU. The show can be pretty emotional at times, but it’s well worth watching. If you missed the Feb. 17th broadcast, the show will be repeated on Feb. 20th at the following times: 4:30 PM EST, 3:30 CST, 2:30 MT, 1:30 PT (check your local listings). You can also purchase a DVD of the Old Sniper broadcast for $9.95.

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November 11th, 2009

Frank Buckles — The Last Living American WWI Veteran

4,734,991 Americans served in uniform during World War I. They fought on land and sea, in the first true global conflict. By the end of WWI over 15,000,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide had died in that conflict, including 120,000 Americans (as many from disease as from wounds). A thousand U.S. Soldiers died every DAY in the 3-week Meuse-Argonne offensive.

Frank Buckles — The Last Doughboy
This past July, Britain’s Harry Patch died at age 111. Patch had been the oldest soldier-survivor of the “War to End All Wars.” Now American Frank Woodruff Buckles, 108, Britisher Claude Choules, 108, and Canadian John Babcock, 107, stand as the last known veterans of World War I. Buckles lives quietly on a farm in West Virginia. He still remembers his service in the Great War, explaining why he joined the Army at age 16: “When your nation calls,” Buckles said, “you have to go”. (Read recent interview.)

Now, 91 years since the end of WWI, 108-year-old Army veteran Frank Buckles is our last living link with the American “Doughboys” who fought in Europe. His story is a profile in patriotism (and youthful exuberance). When only 16 years old, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines. They turned him down, so he joined the Army, lying about his age. He served in Britain and France as an ambulance driver, then helped escort German prisoners home to Germany after the surrender.

WWI veteranWWI veteran

Following WWI, Buckles wanted to see the world, so he took work with a steamship company. That job placed him in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. He was captured and interred in a prison camp for three years before being liberated. Below is a CNN feature on Frank Buckles. As all other American WWI vets have passed away, Buckles was honored as the last U.S. Soldier to fight in the “Great War”. To learn more about Frank Buckles and his experiences in WWI, CLICK HERE for a USAToday Feature Story. (Highly recommended–worth reading.)

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May 25th, 2009

Observing Memorial Day — What You Can Do

“…gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime….let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude — the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”
–General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868

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From USMemorialday.org:

The “Memorial” in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice. You can best honor those who died in the service of their country by…

– visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.

– visiting memorial sites or attending memorial events.

– flying the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon (and by flying the ‘POW/MIA Flag’ as well).

– participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day.

- renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.

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