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October 30, 2018

HAVA’s San Antonio Range Day is Big Texas Welcome for Vets

By Mark Oliva

SAN ANTONIO – More than 200 veterans and their families recently were treated to a free day at the range courtesy of Honored American Veterans Afield, a veterans outreach group comprised of firearms industry businesses, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Veterans were offered the chance to revisit their marksmanship skills in handguns, suppressed modern sporting rifles and shotguns. There was also a lot of camaraderie, prizes, food and fun.

“These outreach events are more than just a fun day at the range,” explained Tom Taylor, HAVA’s Chairman and Executive Director. “This allows us in the firearms industry to first, say thank you for the service and sacrifice to preserve our freedoms. Secondly, and most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to reach out to veterans who might be facing personal struggles coping with injuries, both visible and invisible, and surround them with fellow veterans and volunteers who are ready to help.”

More than A Decade of Helping Vets

HAVA has hosted range days and hunting outings for more than a decade, reaching more than 8,500 veterans from all branches of service. Most are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many bear the scars of their service.

One of the unique aspects of HAVA’s range day at the San Antonio Police Training Academy was the demonstration and hands-on assistance from Rick Cicero and Chris Fleming of HAVA’s Learn to Shoot Again program. Both veterans recovering from their own injuries incurred during war. Between the two of them, they have one leg and three arms. But with the help of prosthetics and self-determination, they’ve re-learned their shooting skills with both handguns and rifles and shoot and move on multiple targets much like any other shooting competition.

HAVA - Range Day event

Recognized by DOD

Veterans were given a demonstration by U.S. Army Blackhawk pilot Trevor Baucom, who lost the use of his legs in a helicopter crash, doing a standing shooting demo from a skeletonized brace, to help him stand and shoot.

HAVA was recently recognized by the Department of Defense for their veteran outreach. Pentagon officials awarded The Spirit of Hope Award, named for in honor of Bob Hope, the legendary entertainer who made it his life’s work to reach out to the military, especially during times of war.

You may also be interested in: 5th Annual NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic

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