Northwoods Adventure: Lakeshore Conservation Club Welcomes Paralyzed Veteran Trap Shooters
On Saturday, the Lakeshore Conservation Club hosted a new event that they hope to continue for years to come with the first-ever Minnesota Paralyzed Veterans of America Fundraiser Shoot.
The PVA event was put on not only as a fundraiser, but also just to give veterans the opportunity to get together.
“We try to get as many veterans as we can get, disabled veterans is fine, but anybody can come in and shoot for this event,” said PVA member and Brainerd Resident Hank Ebert.
“We get to meet fellow veterans and people that have been in the Vietnam War with us,” said PVA Minnesota Chapter President/National Director Ken Klein.
One of the main objectives of the PVA is to make sure that the limitations that paralyzed veterans have don’t stop them from enjoying life.
“We don’t want veterans like ourselves to be cooped up in the house, we want to get them out in the community and to meet people,” said Klein.
“Going to concerts, going to movies, we go to the Veteran’s Wheelchair Games every year – we bring 25 guys just about every year to that,” said PVA member Eric “Scott” Poehler.
One PVA trap shoot team with members from all over the Midwest were able to get together and compete in the sport they love.
“It’s just a fun sport, being able to break as many clays as you can and the competition with your friends,” said Ebert.
And don’t think a wheelchair is going to slow these guys down.
“These gentlemen here, they don’t let their disabilities get them down, they shoot very well, they shoot a lot better than people who have no disabilities,” said Lakeshore Range Finder Robert Marquardt.
Talk to any veteran, and they’ll tell you they are trying to get that perfect 25 out of 25 score, but what this event is really about is getting veterans out and doing what they love with one another.
“For me, the best part is getting together with our team and it’s the competitive nature, everybody wants to do better than the next guy,” said Klein.
“Even though I didn’t shoot all that well today, we always have fun,” said Poehler.
“I’ve been shooting with these guys for six, seven, eight years, we’re all military, ex-military and we’re all good friends,” said Ebert.
The Lakeshore Conservation Club is already making plans for a second annual event next year, however, it will be held a couple of months earlier in July.