Looking for something to do over Labor Day weekend? How about heading to Atlanta for the the NRA American Warrior 300? Right there at the at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, NRA has partnered with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. to help celebrate and honor America’s bravest and most respected fighting men and women. How are they doing that? By giving away 25,000 tickets to the Nationwide Series race.

Here's more:

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Blue Star Museum Project for military families The National Firearms Museum is part of an elite group. Yes, they're a museum. Sure, they have an incredible collection of American History. But the elite group part of our meaning is that now they are part of the Blue Star Museum Initiative.

Created by the National Endowment of the Arts, in a collaborative effort with Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense, Blue Star Museums provide free admission to military personnel as well as members of their family. A summertime project, Blue Star begins on Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day.

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NRA Life of Duty's episode Just a Girlfriend

Sometimes it means a little, sometimes it means a lot, and sometimes it means nothing at all. When it comes to the Military, being "Just the Girlfriend" can mean next to nothing. And that's just the notion that NRA's Life of Duty decided to explore.

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New Competitive Shooting Director has experience in the field

NRA Director of Competitive Shooting Dennis Willing
NRA Competitive Shooting Director Dennis Willing
John Parker was good enough to tell us a little bit about his new boss — Dennis Willing, Director of NRA's Competitive Shooting Division.

Fairfax, Virginia - NRA Competitive Shooting now has a long-time competitor at the helm. NRA Benefactor Member Dennis L. Willing, or Denny as his friends know him, is the new Director of the NRA Competitive Shooting division.

“As a competitor, I was offered my dream job and I intend to make the most of it,” said Willing.

Willing replaces Mike Krei, who retired after leading the division for six years. Willing will oversee a staff of 23 in managing over 11,000 NRA-sanctioned tournaments and over 40 national shooting championships. Hundreds of thousands of gun owners take part in these competitions nationwide, from the novice to the world-class competitor.

The wealth of experience that Willing brings to the position is unprecedented. A list of his accomplishments would include:

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Samantha Olsen of NRA Youth Programs during 2010 Memorial Day shoot

For this weekend's image rewind, we go back two years to the 2010 Patriot’s Path Memorial Day Shoot. Above is Samantha Olsen of NRA Youth Programs. Sam, as we call her, is a skilled shotgun shooter who competed that weekend for Team NRA.

Joined by Bill Poole (Director of Education and Training), Kristin Stoner (Office of Advancement Events Manager), Samantha Olsen and Andy Lander (Instructor Program Coordinator), Team NRA bested Team Remington for bragging rights in the inaugural event.

National Firearms Museum's WWII display
National Firearms Museum's WWII display.
On the morning of June 6, 1944, more than 170,000 Allied soldiers crossed the English Channel for a descent upon the sands of Normandy, France. With assaults set for beachheads designated as Gold, Sword, Omaha, Juno, Pointe du Hoc, and Utah, it was the courage, tenacity and ingenuity of the commanders and their men that allowed the Allies to secure a foothold in Europe. 

As they rallied for departure, Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the crowd:

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

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Florence McSween awards trophy named after her son to Victor Armenta for Remembering the Brave match

This week in 2010, Jan Raab, then the National Manager of NRA's High Power Rifle Programs, sent NRAblog the following on Quantico's Remembering the Brave rifle match:

Quantico, Virginia - The First Eastern Armed Forces Memorial Match is being hosted by the Quantico Shooting Club Memorial Day weekend.  Each year, 14 military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country will be honored at this match.  The trophies will bear the names of the service members and the winner of each match.  All match entry fees are donated to the Remembering the Brave Foundation, which was founded by Stephen Beck. Steve was a Casualty Assistance Officer in the Marine Corps and is a high power shooter. This match was his idea as a way to remember our fallen heroes.

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Fairfax, Virginia - We first celebrated Memorial Day after the American Civil War. Communities would gather in the local cemeteries to place flowers and decorations at the graves of fallen soldiers — hence the early designation of Decoration Day.

Fast forward a hundred years or so, 1967 to be specific, and Memorial Day was officially a holiday. A year later, federal law changed the date of recognition from May 30 to the last Monday in May — that's how we managed this three-day weekend.

To all those who have fought for our country, and all who have fallen for our country, we extend our gratitude.

A member of Project Enduring Pride takes aim with a SIG P230 at the NRA Range

A group of around 20 combat wounded veterans from Project Enduring Pride visited NRA Headquarters and, along with friends and family, were treated to a tour of the National Firearms Museum as well as a chance to get some target practice in at the NRA Range.

Donated from the museum's collection and generous volunteers, there was a wide variety of firearms at every lane. A MAC-10, M-4 Carbine, SOCOM-16, Ruger Mini-14, FN SCAR, Browning Automatic Rifle, SIG P230 and H&K UMP were just some of the available guns these brave men and women could try out.

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