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Wounded vets enjoy trap-shooting fundraiser

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Sep 26, 2009.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Shotgun therapy

    Wounded vets enjoy trap-shooting fundraiser

    By Jeb Phillips - THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    Joe Gross, a former combat engineer who lost part of his right leg in a suicide bombing, hit 10 out of his first 25 targets.

    "That felt good," he said.

    Jonathon Johnson, a former Army truck driver from Columbus who relearned how to walk and talk after an explosion fractured his skull and bruised his brain, hit 15 of the first 25.

    "I'm in the lead," he said afterward, smiling.
    War veterans can feel a kind of dissociation from the world when they leave the military, said Todd Schroeder, 32, of Centerville. Schroeder is a former Army bridge builder who was shot in the face the day after Saddam Hussein's arrest in December 2003.

    They want to be alone, he said. Or they only want to be with people who know exactly what they have gone through. But events such as yesterday's trap shoot in Delaware County, a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project, help them open up. They experience new things, meet people who care about them.

    Schroeder, who had never been trap shooting, hit 11 of his first 25 targets.

    "Phenomenal," he said.

    Central Ohio American Charities, a nonprofit organization formed in 2008 to support wounded veterans, put together yesterday's trap shoot. Three executives at Columbus-area insurance companies decided to create the organization after meeting with wounded veterans on Veterans Day 2007 at another trap-shooting event.

    wo of the founders are themselves Marine veterans.

    "We were amazed by the guys we had met," said Ken Green, one of the founders. "We thought we had to do something for them."

    The trap shoot gives the veterans a chance to try something they might not have before, and because it's not very physically demanding, allows people with various disabilities to participate, said Steve Blankenship, another founder. The money raised from the event - and a dinner the night before - goes to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides services for injured veterans.

    Last year's events raised $20,000. This year's appears to have brought in about $30,000, Green said.

    There were 65 shooters at the Black Wing Shooting Center yesterday aiming for the flying, bright-orange targets. Twelve of the shooters were wounded veterans sponsored by donations. Gross, 32, of Cuyahoga Falls, now walks with the help of a titanium and carbon-fiber prosthetic. He helped get the word out in his job as the Wounded Warrior Project's outreach coordinator for Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    "The amount of generosity is amazing," he said.

    His 10 out of 25 targets were pretty good for a firsttimer, said Ryan Parsons, his instructor on the range and the person launching the targets when Gross said "pull!"

    An experienced shooter in Gross' group hit 21.

    But Gross, of Akron, was happy just to be there.

    "You can't beat going out and shooting guns," he said.

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/09/26/shotgun.html?sid=101
     
  2. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    I go to the local Vets home here a few weekends a month and volunteer. We take them on a day of fishing at a local pond once a year and it is so gratifying to watch them smile and enjoy the day.
     
  3. The Stive

    The Stive Member

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    What a great project and worthwhile event. Thanks to all that made it happen.
    John
     
  4. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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