If you've never heard of Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA), you should: This organization helps to support and empower wounded veterans as they return to their lives as civilians...and unlike some other veteran's organizations, HAVA isn't afraid to stand strong with the Second Amendment while they do so. The most recent example of this is their long-range disabled veterans' shooting weekend, which is actually the first of a planned series. The first such, held at the FTW Ranch near Barksdale, Texas, and was a tremendous success by any standards. Because the FTW Ranch offers housing, meals and a first-class long-range program, it was an obvious choice for the HAVA group of five disabled veterans. Each attending wounded hero has significant physical limitations--and all of them are combat veterans with no precision shooting experience. Each veteran was supported one-on-one by an experienced HAVA volunteer to handle any needed assistance.
On Day One, the vets were issued rifles, and did some some classroom work on safety and various optics platforms before lunch. Afternoon saw the group on the range sighting-in their guns and learning to shoot out to 1,000 yards. Day two began with range work out to 1,835 yards, shooting moving targets and the opportunity to shoot both “charging buffalo” and “running elephant” targets. The last phase was a 20-round course of fire specifically designed by the FTW staff to test the new-found talents of the HAVA veterans.
They all passed successfully; with their smiles showing a new-found confidence that they could handle a difficult new task, despite their disabilities.
“Long range shooting is a relatively new program for HAVA,” said Tom Taylor, HAVA Chairman. “We are showing disabled American heroes that there are new outdoor activities to learn, despite their limitations, and that they can excel in these new skills beyond their previous experiences.”
“We were impressed with HAVA’s commitment to excellence during this training weekend and look forward to more classes with them in the future,” said FTW Ranch owner Tim Fallon. “Our facility is all-inclusive and just perfect for disabled veterans, and the HAVA team demonstrated how their program can help these veterans build optimism about their future. There are lots of veterans organizations around – this one is the most professional that we have seen.”
If you know any disabled veterans who might enjoy this experience, or if you'd like to find ways you can help HAVA, visit their website for more information!