Barbara Baird, huntress extraordinaire and Publisher of the Women's Outdoor News, attended the NRA Bianchi Cup last week. Pictured above, from left to right: CWO3 Glenn Ryther, Baird's colleague Tammy Ballew, SSgt. Perez Ysiac, Sgt. William Goetscher, Baird, Sgt. Michael Stahl, SSgt. Matthew C. Walsh, Cpl. William D. Hiett.
Below, Baird's report of the award ceremony, which honored Col. (U.S. Army, Ret.) Donald E. Ballard,:
Medal of Honor recipient Ballard tells NRA crowd to keep fighting
...According to Tom Hughes (national manager for the National Rifle Association’s pistol, conventional pistol and action shooting) the Marines came because not only did they want to meet the challenge of this prestigious match, they also came to support guest speaker Col. (U.S. Army, Ret.) Donald E. Ballard, a Medal of Honor Recipient from Kansas City, Mo.
Ballard, a stocky guy that you’d want watching your back anytime, received a standing ovation before he even started his speech. And when all of us sat down, six Marines stood at attention until he told them, “At ease, Marines.” He added, “Hooah!”
Ballard ... is the only living Kansas Guardsman to receive the Medal of Honor and is the subject of a memorial statue at the National Medical War Memorial in Kansas City. He also fought his own private battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, because, “I had to play God and I had to let people live and people die. I still have a feeling of guilt for letting people die.” He said talking to others who have been in combat situations has helped him throughout the years.
Ballard looked over the room, and stated, “We represent a group of freedom fighters. We are patriots.” He did not refer solely to himself and the six men at our table. Ballard explained that every day, as we exercise our freedom to own firearms, use firearms and support the Second Amendment, we fight a battle – sometimes outright, and sometimes, an undercurrent. He then chided us, and asked, “But, are we teaching our children to be patriots?” Ballard then reminded us that our biggest enemy is complacency. He further said, “Everyone has to pay a price to live this country.”
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