Missourians Supporting Missouri's Combat Wounded Veterans

Missourians Supporting Missouri's Combat Wounded Veterans

The mission of the M1 for Vets Project of the Owensville Gun Club is to perpetuate the recognition of our combat wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan for their sacrifices in the War on Terror.

The project was initiated by John J O'Shea of North Carolina as a vehicle of recognition for a combat wounded friend of his two sons, both active duty Marines. The first rifle was presented in December 2005. Since then over 150 rifles have been presented in 31 states. The Owensville Gun Club presented 3 rifles in 2007 and have presently presented 8 in 2008 with 3 more scheduled for the year.

The project is not affiliated with any large firearms organization, rather, it is a loosely organized, grass roots group of gun clubs, shooters and collectors that want to show their appreciation, respect and support for America's combat wounded. Currently over 20 clubs throughout the United States participate in the project.

The rifle being presented is the US, Rifle, CAL .30 M1 , an 8 shot semi-automatic commonly called the "Garand". The M1 Garand was the rifle American soldiers carried in WWII, the Korean War and the early part of the Vietnam War. It is a historically significant rifle having been carried on the battlefields of the world. General George Patton called the M1, " the greatest battle implement ever devised."

The M1s given by the Owensville Gun Club to combat wounded veterans are purchased with funds raised through the registration fees from rifle matches held at the Club and with donations from service organizations, businesses and individuals throughout the state of Missouri.

The gift of this rifle is not for everyone and a simple list of guidelines were established early in the project. 1. A recipient was to have served in either OEF or OIF. 2. Potential recipients had to have a desire to continue in the shooting sports. 3. Recipients had to be willing to accept the gift.

The project does not take self nominations, rather it relies on referral by fellow comrades-in-arms, parents, friends and volunteers at the various trauma centers for the returning combat wounded.

In December of 2006 the Owensville Gun Club in cooperation with Bledsoe-Bulas Post 6133 of the VFW in Owensville assumed the role of enabling sponsors for the project in Missouri. The Club provides its physical facilities, ranges and club house to the project to use in conducting presentation ceremonies and rifle competitions as a fund raising activity of the Project. The VFW, through the office of the Senior Vice Commander,

provides organization, coordination and control of the Project.

The Project has enjoyed tremendous support from all segments of the local community, local cities, counties, veterans organizations, businesses and individuals throughout the state. Leaders in the community have stepped up to show their support for our troops and have exhibited a high level of patriotism and concern for our war wounded.

The three presentations scheduled for the remainder of this year are 24 August, 28 September and 26 October. The ceremony is conducted at the Owensville Gun Club at 8:00AM with a rifle match following at 9:00AM. The Club is located 3 miles west of Owensville on Highway