November 9, 2018
Our Industry Salutes Our Veterans
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is profoundly grateful to those men and women who have sworn an oath to their nation and served in the Armed Forces. Our member companies, including manufacturers of firearms and ammunition, are honored to provide the very best to our nation’s very best.
Below are comments from individuals throughout our industry.
If you look at advances in firearms technology that have helped the American warfighter over the years, the vast majority of them came from private industry, and in many cases are fueled by the fact that the U.S. has a vibrant civilian as well as military customer base for the firearms industry. Innovation and technological advancement happen at a far greater pace here than anywhere else in the world, due mainly to competition within private industry that demands that we all continue to drive towards the next goal, giving our military the ability to pick the winners that enhance the capabilities of our country’s fighting forces.
— Duane Liptak, Executive Vice President, Magpul Industries Corporation, Marine Corps Veteran
One of the things I cherish about the firearms industry is its appreciation of those who have served our great nation. Gun owners, manufacturers and everything in between, give support in so many ways. From discounts and articles in our media to awards and acknowledgements, that gratitude shines not only on our patriotic holidays, but all year long. The industry is made up of wonderful people who don’t hesitate to say thank you and this veteran, like so many, greatly appreciates it.
At STI we are grateful to those who have served and fought for our great country and the freedoms we all enjoy as Americans. We actively seek to hire veterans as the vast majority are hardworking and team oriented. Eighty percent of the leadership team at STI are veterans as well as significant number of our overall employee base. The captain of our pro shooting team is a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient. We provide a discount on our products to military and veterans and support numerous organizations dedicated to veteran causes. At STI, we are all patriots and we are proud to support veterans and America.
— Nate Horvath, CEO STI International, Inc., Marine Corps Veteran
At Troy Industries, we find a lot of favor with our veteran community. Veterans represent about 20 percent of our workforce, from all branches of service. As someone who is former military, we hold them near and dear to our hearts. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that goes into the manufacture of our products that will find their way forward deployed to bring those mothers and brothers, fathers and sisters back home safely.
— Andrew Finn, President, Troy Industries, Marine Corps Veteran
To describe the relationship between the military and Riton Optics would simply be to say that Riton wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for our military and my time serving in the Air Force. The foundation of Riton Optics is rooted in the core learnings and experiences I received while serving in the military. A significant amount of our customer base and grassroots support system is made up of military personnel and Veterans that sincerely support our Veteran owned business. I am extremely grateful that my time serving has granted me, as the founder and CEO of Riton, and thus the company, with an endless line of brothers and sisters that are always willing to lend a hand. I served in the Air Force and while I take my fair share of ‘friendly criticism’ from members of the other branches, I have yet to find a place in this industry that doesn’t have someone from our military family ready to support us. In return of the foundation I was given by the military and for the support we’ve been shown by the military community, we offer a significant discount on all Riton products as a small token of appreciation. We also do our best to support military foundations and other veteran-owned companies.
It’s an honor to be a Veteran business owner because along the path I continually encounter other Veterans and the shared bond of having served in our military means there is never a place I go that I don’t already have a friend.
— Brady Speth, Founder & CEO of Riton Optics, Air Force Veteran
Since 1985, Beretta U.S.A. has supplied the standard sidearm to the U.S. Armed Forces (called the M9 9mm pistol). Some employees at the Company literally helped build the pistols that their sons and daughters carried later in combat. In the years since that contract award, when Beretta U.S.A. employees are asked to name the part of their job for which they are most proud, the number one response is the role that they played and still play to this day in providing these sidearms to our servicemen and women.
— Jeff Reh, General Counsel & Vice-General Manager, Beretta U.S.A
Weatherby is extremely grateful for those who have served our country. Our various freedoms, including the right to bear arms, would not be possible without the sacrifices made by those in uniform. We tend to have a lot of applicants from veterans who have spent years handling firearms and seem to identify with our industry. In fact, we have hired many gunsmiths from the various branches of the military. The pride for their country, combined with a passion for quality craftsmanship in a weapon, often make them an excellent choice to join our team. This Veterans Day, as with every year, we celebrate and appreciate those who have served our great country.
— Adam Weatherby, President, Weatherby, Inc.
Firearms have been at the core of this Nation even before its founding. The firearms industry was instrumental in providing the Continental Army with the weapons with which they were able to defeat the English in the revolutionary war and gain our independence as a nation. And from then until now, that industry and the people who continue to lead it remain instrumental in developing the most up to date technology for our warfighters. We as veterans, as defenders of our Constitution, will forever be grateful to the firearms industry for giving us the ability to take the fight to our enemies and defend our homeland whenever necessary.
— Mark “OZ” Geist, Marine Corps Veteran, Annex Security Team, Benghazi, Libya
As we honor our veterans this November 11th, FN America, LLC would like to extend heartfelt thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service to our nation. We also extend our deepest gratitude to those who have served and those who have given the last full measure of devotion for our country. For more than a century, FN has served alongside the U.S. military and her allies on the battlefield, delivering the tools to defend their lives and secure our freedoms on the front lines. We thank you for your service and look forward to serving alongside you in the future.
— Mark Cherpes, President & CEO for FN America, LLC.
Benelli USA has a great appreciation for the individuals who have served our country through the military. We are fortunate to have 20 percent of our workforce who are military veterans or reservists. We are also proud to supply the Marine Corps shotgun of record with the Benelli M4. Additionally, we are proud to support our annual Benelli USA Invitational sporting clays tournament, with proceeds going to support Freedom Hunters, a non-profit organization providing outdoor adventurers for wounded veterans.
— Tom DeBolt, General Manager & Vice President, Benelli USA
At SIG SAUER, our responsibility to the military and our veterans is what drives us and gives us purpose for what we do every day. About 35 percent of our employees are Veterans or former Law Enforcement professionals, and a significant portion of our products are safeguarding those who serve, protect and defend America. The importance of the military and the noble cause of everyone that serves underscores everything we do, and every product we make, here at SIG – and we are truly thankful. On Veterans Day, and every day, we honor those whom have served and sacrificed for the United States of America in the defense of freedom.
— Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER
I’m proud to be a CEO in an industry and a company that does so much to honor our veterans and military personnel. I believe our industry shares a unique bond with our veterans and military, one that exists because our industry lives and breathes through freedoms provided in our Second Amendment. It is the unwavering commitment by these heroes to protect those freedoms that creates that special bond. Because Smith & Wesson’s history dates to 1852, I have the special honor of hearing stories from some of our own employees about the legacy of patriotism and pride they received from their ancestors – many of whom fought to defend our country, and then came to work within our own four walls. These patriots – and so many others – chose to protect our cherished freedoms, often at tremendous cost to themselves and their families, and that is an invaluable gift that we can never truly repay.
— James Debney, CEO & President, American Outdoor Brands Corporation
We firmly believe that America is great because of the liberties it affords its citizens. Our freedom has been, and will continue to be, provided because of those heroic men and women that have sacrificed — many giving the ultimate sacrifice — so that we might live and worship without the fear of persecution. The right to speak freely, to challenge those with whom we disagree, is supported by the right to bear arms. Our veterans are to thank, not only on Veterans Day, but every day, that we might continue to enjoy the blessings of a free nation. We salute every veteran including those that call Daniel Defense their work home. God Bless You, and may God Bless America.
— Marty Daniel, CEO, President, Founder, Daniel Defense