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Shooting Industry March 2013 - Page 30

Veterans and young people celebrate a day of fun at the First Annual HAVA/USYF Field Day. Sacrifices For Freedom HAVA, Youth Foundation Bring Vets, Kids Together onored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and United Sportsman’s Youth Foundation (USYF) successfully completed a pilot project to launch a new series of outdoor activities for the benefit of veterans, disabled veterans and injured active duty military, and kids from all walks of life. The First Annual HAVA/USYF Field Day held last fall near Freeport, Ill., included a day of trap, birds, dogs and good camaraderie for 15 veterans and 15 youngsters. They spent a day together one-on-one hunting and talking about the sacrifices required for freedom. Most of these kids knew little of military service and these veterans put a human face on what defending freedom really means. More than 20 volunteers helped with bird cleaning, cooking and setup; and the kids and veterans alike learned life lessons that the outdoors can teach. H “The joining of these young people and veterans in an outdoor setting has been a dream for HAVA, and partnering with USYF in sponsoring this event was the perfect way to make it a reality,” said Tom Taylor, HAVA chairman. “This pilot project showed the interface is positive for both groups, and we intend to go forward with the concept for 2013 and beyond.” “HAVA came to us sometime back with the idea of putting veterans and kids together in an outdoor event, and it all worked much better than even we had anticipated,” said Brendan Walsh, USYF director. “The veterans had life lessons to share, and the kids’ faces told the whole story of how one generation can help the next. Each veteran was very appreciative that these youngsters honored their service in defense of freedom.” For more information on USYF, visit Smith & Wesson Donates $50,000 To HAVA mith & Wesson Corp. presented HAVA with a donation of $50,000 at this year’s SHOT Show. The donation will support programs designed to assist disabled veterans and wounded active duty military personnel. James Debney, S&W president and CEO, and Jan Mladek, S&W director of marketing and HAVA board member, presented the donation to Tom Taylor, HAVA chairman. “Since its inception in 2008, we have been proud to support the foundation and growth of HAVA,” Debney said. “Through HAVA’s dedicated services, thousands of returning disabled veterans have been able to reconnect with the benefits of the shooting sports as they undergo the healing process. These remarkable men and women have made incredible sacrifices to protect our freedoms, and it is our privilege and honor to support them through this effort.” James Debney (left), S&W president and CEO, and Jan Mladek (center), S&W director of marketing, present a $50,000 check to Tom Taylor, HAVA chairman. 30 MARCH 2013 S Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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