Sponsors salute Wounded Warriors with free skeet shoot

Local sponsors honor recovering Soldiers at the 2013 Lone Star Wounded Warrior Skeet Shoot Sept. 28 in Rio Medina, Texas.  (Video by Lee Roberts/Lead230.com)

Story by Lee Roberts

RIO MEDINA, Texas (Sept. 28, 2013) – Local sponsors rallied today to salute Wounded Warriors with a free skeet shoot in appreciation for their selfless service and personal sacrifices in the defense of freedom.

Jack Vexler, owner of Monterrey Iron & Metal and an event sponsor, said the sight of these heroes taking part in the Lone Star Wounded Warrior Skeet Shoot was nothing short of inspirational.

“This is just a drop in the bucket of what we really owe them,” Vexler said.  “The mental strength that these fellas have to overcome this is very, very impressive.  And of course, this kind of recreation is a good outlet for them and lets them be themselves.”

About a dozen Soldiers recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston spent the day to recreate, which helped them with getting away from the hospital and the day-to-day grind of rehabilitation.

Chad M. Trip, a member of the Bulow BioTech Prosthetics team in San Antonio, supports recovering Soldiers daily behind the scenes with fabrication of custom-designed prosthetics. He attended the skeet shoot and watched with pride as the Wounded Warriors competed on the firing line.

Spc. Casey Wacasey Jr., shoots during the Lone Star Wounded Warriors Skeet Shoot in Castroville, Texas Sept. 28, 2013. (Photo by Lee Roberts)
Spc. Casey Wacasey Jr., shoots during the Lone Star Wounded Warriors Skeet Shoot in Castroville, Texas Sept. 28, 2013. (Photo by Lee Roberts)

He said a lot happens to fit the Wounded Warriors with their prosthetics and then the Soldiers have to work hard in the recovery process.  Trip said he likes it when they use them as intended at events like the skeet shoot.

Lone Star Radiator, volunteers and event sponsors teamed up to supply America’s heroes with free skeet, barbecue, lots of patriotism and support for their recovery.

Staff Sgt. Nhut Nguyen took part in the skeet shoot and said it’s great when the Soldiers get out of the barracks where they might sit idle and buy their time. He said shooting was a bit hard for him but he loved participating.

“It was kind of hard to aim because I usually shoot with my right hand and use my right eye to aim, because I can’t use my right eye anymore… so I have to shoot with my left and it’s kind of hard,” Nguyen said.  “Thanks for having us out here and doing this for us.  It means a lot.”

Event organizers from Lone Star Radiator announced that a live auction that followed the skeet shoot raised more than $11,000 for Veterans Outdoors, a non-profit organization, which goes toward hunting trips for Wounded Warriors.  This is the fourth year Lone Star Radiator organized and recruited sponsors and volunteers to provide this outdoor activity for America’s heroes.

David Bippert, co-owner of Lone Star Radiator, said the many volunteers and sponsors of this event want to be a part of honoring the Wounded Warriors and to let them realize that there are people and companies that truly care about their future.

Veterans Outdoors partnered with Lone Star Radiator and assisted with getting the participants to the event.

Wounded Warrior Eric LaBarge addresses recovering Soldiers from the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center at the Lone Star Wounded Warrior Skeet Shoot Sept. 28, 2013 in Rio Medina, Texas. (Video by Lee Roberts/Lead230.com)

Eric LaBarge, a retired Soldier and Wounded Warrior himself, represented Veterans Outdoors at the skeet shoot. He welcomed the Soldiers to the skeet shoot and recounted when he was wounded by an improvised explosive device.  He said he was the only survivor in the Humvee.  In addition, another Soldier was killed attempting to come to his aid during the small-arms attack that followed, he said.

LaBarge’s message to the Wounded Warriors was events like this helped him with his recovery, and it can help them too.

The Los Carnalis/La Familia, a motorcycle club, escorted the veterans to the event, and the Texas Heritage Riders mounted up and posted the colors at the opening ceremony. Rio Skeet Mobile Skeet Shoots provided skeet services.

Stephanie Revels, Miss Rodeo Texas 2013, also attended the event and interacted with the Wounded Warriors.

The Wounded Warriors competed during the skeet shoot and Shilo Harris took first place, Ivan Garcia took second place, and Nguyen took third place.  Other participants were Derrick Ross, David Baldenego, Justin Hazlewood, Christian Young, Chris Tarte, Michael Payne, Kris Carrisalez, Haywood Range, Casey Wacasey, Kyle Nichols, Robert Drebenstedt, Kevin Nusbaum and C.J. Larrin.

Businesses or individuals interested in being sponsors, donors and volunteers for the skeet shoot in 2014, please call Lone Star Radiator at 210-732-7558. The event organizers thanks the businesses and individuals that made this event possible for the Wounded Warriors:

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Warrior Sponsors

  • Cooling Systems & Flexibles – David Scotch, CPA
  • NOD & Win
  • Zinsmeyer Mechanical & Welding – Bill Schrameck, Linda & Rita Mechler

Donation Sponsors

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