Honoring “All In” Veterans

Wounded Combat Vets, Families Enjoy World-Class Shooting, Fellowship.

Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and ACADEMI hosted 60 disabled veterans, along with their spouses and families, on June 16 at ACADEMI’s 7,000-acre training facility in Moyock, N.C., for a day of range time, professional shooter demonstrations, music, fun and prizes.

“We are enormously indebted to ACADEMI and its staff for hosting such a world class event at their massive training facility,” said Tom Taylor, HAVA chairman.

“ACADEMI is proud to join HAVA in this new tradition of National Family Day, and is privileged to host these men and women and their families, who have given so much of themselves in service of their country,” said Ted Wright, ACADEMI president and CEO.

The First Annual HAVA/ACADEMI National Family Day included 146 honored guests, including wounded veterans and their families. The event began with exhibitions by professional shooters Todd Jarrett, B.J. Norris, Tate Moots, Deb Cheek and Trevor Baucom.

After the pro shooter demonstrations, attendees were invited to participate in informal 3-gun competitions for trophies and the coveted “Top Gun” hat for the top finishers. Other attendees participated in handgun, rifle and shotgun shooting under the direction of the ACADEMI’s staff.

Each wounded combat veteran received an impressive gift bag, and every child won a prize for their participation. Over $10,000 in adult raffle prizes also were awarded to lucky veteran participants. Prizes were donated by Benchmade, Colt, DPMS, Leupold & Stevens, Mossberg, NRA, Smith & Wesson, STI International, SureFire and other sponsors.

“Our wounded warriors and their families received shooting instruction from the world’s best trainers. The interaction among participants and their families was proof enough that HAVA’s mission of helping to rebuild these American heroes’ confidence in their future is well worth all of our sponsors’ efforts,” Taylor said. “These heroes were ‘all in’ when America called, and now deserve all the support we can muster.”

The event provided plenty of motivation for future events, according to Wright.

“To watch these heroes interact with their peers and families in such a positive setting has touched us all, and reinforced our resolve to make next year’s National Family Day even better,” Wright said.
HAVA is a 501(c)3 organization formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry with the purpose of raising awareness, and assisting disabled veterans with their healing process through guided hunts, shooting events and other outdoor sports activities. The sustaining sponsor companies are Smith & Wesson, NSSF, Mossberg, Yamaha Outdoors, Crimson Trace, Leupold & Stevens, SureFire, Hornady, Ruger, XS Sights, Barrett, Glock and FMG Publications, among numerous contributing companies.

For more information on how to support HAVA’s objectives, visit www.honoredveterans.org.

ACADEMI is a leading provider of training and security services in support of the U.S. government and other customers.For more information, visit www.ACADEMI.com.

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Family Day includes plenty of food and good company.

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HAVA is devoted to including families in its many activities.

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The ACADEMI facility offered plenty of shooting for veterans.

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A disabled veteran uses his artificial leg to great advantage, with
encouragement from Todd Jarrett, president, Armed Citizen Alliance.

HAVA Leads Shooting Chair Program

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At the 2012 Shooting Industry Masters, Army Retired CWO 5 Gary Linfoot uses
the HAVA Shooting Chair to shoot the Sporting Clays Course. His wife, Mari,
was also a member of TEAM HAVA at the event.

HAVA, in partnership with Action Track and Zeiss Optics, announces the testing of a customizable, tracked shooting chair.

The goal of the program is to provide the most severely disabled and paraplegic veterans with the mobility to hunt with minimal assistance.

“When we’re done with our testing, we will be able to take almost any disabled veteran into the field to hunt virtually any hoofed, pawed or winged creature in any terrain, in up to 6 inches of water, snow or mud, and on land with up to 25-degree inclines,” said Tom Taylor, HAVA chairman.

Taylor says the HAVA Shooting Chair is fully customizable to any size and to unique body limitations, and will allow most wounded veterans to return to active participation in outdoor sports.

“We are, at times, limited in which disabled veterans we can take on a hunt, but with this new tool, we will be able to accommodate the most severe limitations,” Taylor said. “Hats off to Action Track, Zeiss, Hornady, Ruger and Leupold for helping us launch this program.”

The HAVA Shooting Chair is modified from the 350-pound Action Track model that will go 5 mph, climb a steep incline, go through water, snow, sand and mud, and run all day on a single battery charge.
“It’s a game-changer for those of us who have severe battle injuries,” said Chris Fleming, a HAVA associate, himself a double-leg amputee, competitive shooter, avid hunter and Iraq veteran. “To have a stable, movable, trail-rated shooting platform that provides full control and support for any physical challenge will allow the disabled veteran to fully participate in a group environment or hunt virtually by himself.”

HAVA is seeking financial assistance to fund the HAVA Shooting Chair program.

“Because the chairs cost about $10,000 each, plus staging and operating expenses, HAVA is looking for assistance from other sponsors and other sources to fund this critical project,” Taylor said. “We need funding, transportation, manpower, warehousing, maintenance and repair capabilities — all things that our industry can provide.”
To assist in this program and for more information, contact Taylor at (781) 789-2538.
By HAVA Staff
Photos By Bob Douros

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