By Lars Dalseide | January 27 2012 14:42

Project Enduring Pride helping transition of wounded soldiers

Project Enduring Pride hits center mass at the NRA Range
Project Enduring Pride participant enjoys his marksmanship with a M1 Garand rifle at the NRA Range

Fairfax, Virginia - There were two parts to Project Enduring Pride's visit to the National Rifle Association earlier this week — the National Firearms Museum and the NRA Headquarters Range. While Kerrin accompanied those who toured the Museum, I stayed with the men and women who decided to take on the range.

Enduring Pride helps those who were wounded in the service of our country with the transition from military to civilian life. If one uses Tuesday's outing as a barometer of Pride's progress, I'd say they're doing one heck of a job.

"A number of people go through the range every week," said Customer Service Specialist Debra Crews. "I can't remember the last time we've seen so many smiling faces out on the line. Now that they all have their Range ID Cards, I hope to see them down here more often."

Volunteers from NRA Headquarters and the U.S. Border Patrol took personal time to man the thirteen open bays, each with either a pistol or rifle ready to fire. Among the options were a Smith & Wesson 4566, a Mac 10, a 1911, an M-1 Garand and a M4 rifle. Taking turns, the soldiers and family members spent a few hours sending shots down range with great success.

"One or two participants experienced a little rustiness at first," said NRA Training Coordinator Mark Richardson. "By the end of the day, every one was hitting center mass."

Saying thanks to the National Rifle Association

Once the live fire segment of the day came to an end, NRA's Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson stepped up to welcome and thank the group for their commitment.

Representatives from Project Enduring Pride present NRA's Bill Bryne and Kayne Robinson with a Wounded Warriors battle flag.

"The NRA has always had a very close relationship with the military," said Robinson. "It is our honor to have you hear with us today. It is a small gesture in comparison to what all of you have done for our country, but it's our honor to host this event and a serious part of our heritage.

Project Enduring Pride Director Ken Strafer then stepped forward to present both Robinson and U.S. Border Patrol Chief Soto with a Wounded Warrior Battle Streamer and Battle Flag. Designed during their stay at the Walter Reed Medical Center, the streamer and flag are symbols of appreciation.

"We give you this for all the outstanding work that you give all wounded warriors," said Strafer. "We are very proud to have your support."

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