By Kyle Jillson | May 8 2012 08:37

Wounded Veterans spend a day firing SIGs, Colts and more

NRA staff views disabled veteran firing an uzi

Fairfax, Virginia - When twenty disabled veterans from Project Enduring Pride visited NRA Headquarters last month they were treated to more than just a guided tour of the National Firearms Museum. After gazing at 600 years of firearms history, the vets joined friends and family at the NRA Range for a hands-on experience with some of the same guns they were just ogling.

Project Enduring Pride helps combat-wounded servicemen and women in the Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Richmond areas transition from military to civilian life. Thinking veterans would enjoy getting behind the sights again, the NRA Range spent more than two months organizing sponsors and volunteers before inviting Enduring Pride for its afternoon of fun.

Veteran lines up an H&K Ump at the NRA range

Although these veterans all have firearms training, everyone who comes to shoot at the range must complete, and pass, the NRA Range Test before they are allowed out on the lanes.

Once the group had their brand new range cards in hand, they were led out to the firing line where almost 20 different firearms and a large cache of ammunition lay waiting. Aside from having a unique firearm - sometimes two - each lane also had its own Range Safety Officer to assist the veterans however they could and provide some tips when needed.

Veterans and significant others at the NRA headquarters range

A M-4 Carbine, SOCOM-16, Ruger Mini-14, FN SCAR, Browning Automatic Rifle, SIG P230 and H&K UMP were just some of the firearms made available for a few hours by the National Firearms Museum and generous volunteers.

If that wasn't great enough, after everyone had been given enough time to try out each of the lanes at least once, the visitors were invited downrange to test their skill with full-auto shooting. With the UMP, MAC-10 and M-4 set to rock and roll, Enduring Pride thoroughly ventilated a few paper targets before calling it quits.

There wasn't a single person, volunteers and staff included, that didn't have a big smile on their face by the end of the day.

NRA instructor hands a .308 to Enduring Pride soldier

"I couldn’t be more pleased with this event. Being able to bring these deserving men and women to the NRA and have them experience a day full of excitement is the best," said Customer Service Specialist Debbie Crews. "We are so grateful for their service and sacrifice and I am proud to put these events on. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish them without the support of our community and the NRA."

A great deal of thanks again go out to the event's sponsors who made this all possible - Virginia Arms Co., Ellett Brothers, Calvert Jones, Capital Countermeasures Inc. and some extremely generous individual donors. Additional thanks to all of our instructors who assisted Enduring Pride with whatever they required. Members of the NRA Range Officers, NRA's Education and Training Department, U.S. Border Patrol, RASco Inc, and a couple individual instructors took a great deal out of their day to come see that these veterans had the best time possible at NRA Headquarters - and they did.

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