By Lars Dalseide | August 20 2008 14:01

Patricia Stoneking did not want to be in the kitchen with her aunties and mom while the guys in the family went out to shoot and hunt. As the only girl-child in the family, she preferred to be where the reach action took place -- shooting with the men.

- Barbara Baird, Women's Outdoor Wire

That's just an example of the women out there who tirelessly work to help open other women to the joys of the shooting sports. Patricia is example of the women out there who make this country so great.

One way to honor the women -- who are out there either making those phone calls to their local, state or regional level government official, training more women through running an NRA Women's Programs Instructional Shooting Clinic, or just making an appearance for the purpose of public education on the uses of firearms -- is to nominate them for the Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award or the Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award.

Here's some background on each award:

The Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award

Ms. Marion P. Hammer has influenced many in her fight to preserve Second Amendment freedoms. From her role as lobbyist in the passage of Florida's Right-to-Carry legislation, to her grassroots efforts in educating youth about firearm safety, ownership and responsibility, Ms. Hammer exemplifies activism. As the creator of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program and first woman president of the National Rifle Association, she has significantly impacted her community, state and the nation. To honor her pioneering spirit, the National Rifle Association bestows the Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award in her name.

The Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award

On the night of April 26, 1777, a wounded messenger barely reached the home of New York militia officer Henry Ludington with desperate news of a British attack on nearby Danbury, Connecticut. Munitions and supplies for the entire region's militia were at stake, and with not a moment to spare, Colonel Ludington turned to his 16-year old daughter, Sybil for help. While he organized the local militia, Sybil mounted her horse and galloped through the night to rally troops in the surrounding countryside. Trekking on dirt roads that were unknown to her, Sybil never lost sight of her mission -- to alert the patriots about the British attack, thereby preserving the cause of freedom.

By risking her life that dark and desolate night, Sybil made a profound difference in America's successful pursuit to become a free and independent nation. For her act of courage, General Washington and General Rochambeau personally thanked her. Now to honor her accomplishment and the accomplishments of modern heroines, the National Rifle Association bestows the prestigious Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award in her name.

Time is running out to nominate someone you know for this prestigious honor. Tomorrow I'm going to highlight some of the women who have been honored for this.
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