NRAblog loves to talk to NRA Volunteers, and we try to introduce our readers to as many of these dedicated patriots as possible. During the smallbore prone phase of this year's National Matches, we were able to chat with three couples. Their stories are below.
Lloyd and Phyllis Herrington, pictured above, are no strangers to Camp Perry. “She’s been volunteering 11 years, and I just got my 10 year pin this year,” Lloyd told NRAblog. He said they read NRAblog and he believes they may even have been featured here already. When we thanked them for their dedication to the National Matches, this couple said they wouldn't spend their summer any other way.
"In the 1960s Phyllis competed here at the Matches," Lloyd said, "then we started raising a family, and here we are now, married 52 years, with great grandchildren."
Phyllis has been teaching Hunter Education for the past 14 years in the state of Ohio. “She was honored with a Governor’s award for outstanding service, which they rarely give out,” Lloyd told us proudly. “She’s small, so all her guns are cut down in size,” Lloyd said. “Our grandkids all started with her guns.”
The couple, who teach Right To Carry courses in Ohio, typically volunteer for both the pistol and smallbore rifle phases.
Neal Waldron of Springfield, Ohio, knows his face is somewhere in NRAblog's pictures of the smallbore rifle competition this week. "You're the only photographer whose picture earned me a compliment," he joked with NRAblog's Lindsey Morgan. "My buddy called and said he saw me on the blog, and he said, 'you were the only one with a huge smile.'"
"I'm like, 'man, it's Camp Perry!,'" he said emphatically. "Of course I'm smiling!"
Waldron told us he feels more at home here at the matches than in his own neighborhood. "These people understand me," he said. His wife Pamela joins him in volunteering for the duration of the National Matches. "We enjoy meeting people from all over the world," Pamela said. "Some Australians we met a few years ago will be here soon."
The Waldrons are trapshooters who have never shot competitively. "I think when the bullet goes off there should be something you can eat," he said, smiling. His family enjoys hunting deer, grouse, and squirrel. "Squirrel has a wonderful, wonderful taste," he said. "We eat a lot of them. My grandfather calls 'em tree rats, but he ate a lot of them, too."
Richard and Paula Koenig drive their 29-foot camper all the way from Missouri to help out at the National Rifle and Pistol Matches. "I've been an NRA member all my life," Richard said. He also volunteered with the NRA Bianchi Cup this year, which is much smaller than the National Matches but also much closer to his hometown.
While Richard prefers serving as a Range Safety Office, Paula prefers the air-conditioned indoors.
"It gets hot out here," Richard explained. "I think Paula's taking a break this afternoon, but she was working at the NRA Memorabilia Store earlier, and she'll spend some time in the volunteer office, too."
If you're interested in volunteering with the NRA's Competitive Shooting Division, look here for more info.