|Chuck (L) & Kyle (R) with the big smile!|
|Channing from Alabama shooting a Kodabow.|
|Jim's Kodabow next to William's Kodabow in Africa. |
William is Jim's PH. (Professional Hunter.)
Jim and a trophy Zambian Sable.
A large Sable can reach 600 lbs.
|The Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest|
The nocturnal Bushpig - hunted in darkness from a blind
|The elusive Puku|
|Saturday Morning, 12 October, 2013|
|Killzone Broadhead after shoulder/heart/lung shot.|
|Kodabow with a Cheekrest and HHA Optimizer|
|This was the group that organized the event!|
|Volunteers like Jeff and companies like Ruger and Smith & Wesson plus many others make events like this happen. Trevor Baucom in his wheelchair (helicopter pilot) was the local inspiration behind this HAVA event. This was the morning volunteer briefing.|
|That's me with my red HAVA hat helping a veteran get his sight picture.|
Naturally, he made the shot.
The day progressed. There was lunch and dinner. We shot all afternoon long. Prior to the event, a Kodabow customer called Kodabow and learned that we would be in TN and asked if he could assist and perhaps bring his new Kodabow up to get fully checked out. I said "please come, bring your Kodabow and help out!" Tom joined Jeff, the helo crew Chief and was tasked with balloon work and arrow retrieval as well.
Tom had received his Kodabow a few days earlier but had never fired it. He assembled it out of the box and set it on the shooting table after the last veteran headed to the steak dinner under the tent.
The next sequence of events was extraordinary.
Tom's first shot at 35 yards was dead on the money. Perfect.
After shooting hundreds of arrows all day long, I was ready for a change and moved the target to 50 yards. Tom settled in behind his Kodabow and squeezed off the 2nd shot from the crossbow. X ring.
Bullseye at 50 yards!
Shot #3 was next. 50 yards. Bullseye. 1/8 of an inch from the first shot.
This was 1/2 MOA (Minute of Angle) performance from a crossbow that had just been assembled without the new owner ever making a scope adjustment.
Tom was amazed. Jeff was now shaking his head. I told the men that actually, at Kodabow, we are not surpised by this type of thing --- but we are always impressed with their accuracy and often have a sense of wonder about how these bows shoot.
It was a tremendous day.
Shooting with out troops is a terrific experience. These events give our service folks the opportunity to share with their families the types of things they do routinely. A spouse may have never fired a firearm before but now has an appreciation for the difficult work our warriors do. (Times have changed - the typical military command wouldn't allow this type of event to occur on the military base so support groups like HAVA help out in many ways. They arrange hunts especially for those with serious injuries and organize different types of outings.) It is a remarkably positive experience. The daughters and sons of these military families are polite and respectful. They say "Thank you Sir." The veterans are respectful and very appreciative. They shoulder a Kodabow like they have been shooting one for years and place their finger alongside the trigger, gain a sight picture, and squeeze off a shot. They are professional and always say "Thank you" too.
I spoke with Jeff and a few of his buddies Saturday evening and shared a beer. Their backgrounds are rich and their attitudes are exceptional. They have done many things and are well trained. One had taught at the Sniper School at Ft. Benning. Another enlisted and progressed from enlisted to officer. They were like the many veterans that we spoke with during the event. The very, very best that this country has to offer.
Thank you for your service!
CDR Chuck Matasic - USN (Ret)
P.S. (The names of the active duty personnel were changed --- Jeff - you know who you are my friend!)
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