NWPVA SHOOTING PROGRAMS
Therapeutic and Recreational Activity
Shooting is at the top of the list of recreational therapeutic activities offered by NWPVA because of its many its many benefits, including the improvement of hand - eye coordination and various critical motor skills. As difficult as it is for a paralyzed veteran, our programs are designed to enable success and teach that anything is possible through mastery of mind over matter. The chapter has a variety of adaptive equipment to assist shooters. Veterans can train on air rifles at designated times in the back-room of the chapter's office to sharpen and hone in their skills. These skills can be used to compete at the National Veteran Wheelchair Games, or just for the fun of it.
Our President, Tom Bungert, is a C4 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down who uses a sip and puff trigger mechanism to operate a weapon for target shooting. He served in the Navy, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation CV 64. Navy personnel were tasked to work on the multi-million dollar aircraft, but they were not allowed to operate the guns - only the Marines enjoyed this privilege. So, following his disabling incident and discharge, his shooting scores during subsequent competitive events were the lowest of all participants. He practiced religiously and worked hard, and over time he was able to bring home a gold medal from the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, the largest wheelchair competition in the United States. Through hard work and dedication, many other disabled veterans have developed similar improvements in their shooting skills and now shoot for the Paralympics squad.
NWPVA highly encourages all veterans coming back from either war or peace time to get active with the programs we have to offer for a chance to learn something new, relieve some stress (by blasting clay pigeons), and especially for the sportsmanship they will receive and develop with other veterans, where success for all shooters is the number one priority . The chapter will continue to support its fellow members and veterans by offering shooting programs designed for their mutual benefit and enjoyment.
Our trapshooting program is geared to introduce or re-introduce newly injured Paralyzed Veterans to shooting trap at local shooting ranges. These introductions are made while still an inpatient in coordination with the VA recreational therapists or after initial rehabilitation with the NW Chapter. The chapter can provide shotguns for a one day use with direct supervision along with pre-arranged range instruction for safety and professional instruction.
If this is a shooting sport that is enjoyed by a NWPVA member there is a National PVA Trapshooting circuit that is scheduled on an annual basis. The NWPVA Chapter is now included in this circuit as a fundraising opportunity every August.
This can be a very rewarding sport where an individual can shoot for high scores against themselves or on a team. Each individuals scores can contribute to their five man squad to help improve the teams overall score. Score can be kept for friendly fun or in competitions for cash and other monetary prizes. This has even been an exhibition sport at the Veterans National Wheelchair Games in various years where facilities were readily available.
The PVA National circuit shoot has standing able body shooters shoot on the same level as sitting shooters with separate and integrated equal placing too. Shooting from a wheelchair can be done with minimal modifications by strapping yourself into your wheelchair, good wheel locks and some pouches to carry your live ammunition, empty hulls and possibly even a carrier for your shotgun to move to and from the shooting line. The experienced shooters are there to help and will make sure new shooters get set up properly for modifications for their level spinal cord injury.
It's a great sport to start and if you like it, you can shoot other variations once you're very familiar with trapshooting. These are Sporting Clays, Skeet, Five Stand, Doubles, Wobbles and Continental. Some of these may be a bit more difficult, but with practice anything is possible. Come join in on the fun and give trapshooting a try! For more information call Brent King at 509-939-4878.