Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) hosted six veterans from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at a two-day shotgun training and sporting clays event. Three Soldiers, two Marines, and one Sailor participated and shared the camaraderie of time away from the hospital and medical appointments.
The veterans spent the first day with three champion shooters/coaches. Shotgun shooting has many differences from the typical military shooting platforms of rifles and pistols. The second day was a full sporting clays course
“We are so happy that the veterans from Walter Reed are able to participate in our event” said Ashley Butcher, Clays for Heroes founder. “We started the event as way to raise funds to help veterans, so that they can be here and take part in the event means so much to all of us.” Butcher jokes that both her Mom and Dad “work” for her, but the reality is that the three of them are the core of an impressive group of volunteers that have organized 10 consecutive and successful events.
“We are ever so grateful to Rochester-Brooks Gun Club for providing a venue for this event. Their sporting clays course is phenomenal” said John Butcher, who, when asked what his role in Clays for Heroes is, frequently says “I’m Ashley’s Dad and do what she tells me to.” But, at every turn, John was there helping the veterans have a safe and fun event.
Karen Noel, Walter Reed’s recreational therapy representative said, “I think this group of veterans is shooting very well!”
“HAVA is supported by many outstanding organizations in the shooting sports industry. But today I want to say a special thanks to Mossberg for the shotguns they donated for veterans to shoot at HAVA events. They will see a lot of action. Sporting clays today, trap and pheasant hunting in October, duck and goose hunting in December, and another goose hunt in January are all on the calendar with many more events to follow” said Steve Macdonald, HAVA’s Coordinator for Clays for Heroes.
“Clays for Heroes was started by Ashley Butcher 10 years ago when she was a teenager and is truly impressive. Now, ten years later, HAVA is proud to know the Butcher family and is appreciative of their commitment to providing a fun event for veterans to attend” said Tom Taylor, HAVA’s Board Chairman and Executive Director.
HAVA is a 501(c)3 organization formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry with the purpose of raising awareness and further assisting disabled veterans with their healing process through guided hunts, shooting events and other outdoor sports activities. The sustaining sponsor companies are Smith & Wesson, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Sig Sauer, Academi, Arnold Defense, Crimson Trace, E3 Training, FMG Publications, Glock, Hornady, Leapers/UTG, Leupold & Stevens, Mossberg, National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW), Operation Hat Trick, RSR Group, Ruger, Savage, Surefire, Taurus, Vista Outdoor/Federal, XS Sights, and Yamaha Outdoors among numerous contributing companies. To learn more about HAVA, go to: www.honoredveterans.org.