Fort Pitt Chapter’s 4th Annual Warrior Shoot was an event focused on bringing all branches of the Armed Forces and eras of military service together to support each other and show our collective strength. Over 150 veterans, family and friends attended the event at the Special Tactics and Rescue Training (START) facility in Mingo Junction Ohio. The facility is owned and operated by Darla Hoagland and her husband, Frank, a retired USN SEAL.
The event was also sponsored by the FNH USA Company under the direction of Bill Buie, Tom Lopper and their team. Additionally, FNH donated a FN 9mm handgun, which raised money to support the event, as well as service members in the SW PA region. Field and Stream Company donated hats, t-shirts, and a $500 gift card, which was offered as a raffle prize along with the FN handgun.
Old Glory Embroidery Co, owned by Darla Hoagland, made t-shirts commemorating the Warrior Shoot. AMVET Post 275, under the leadership of Dan Wilson, supported the event by providing funds to pay for the 20’X 40’ tent for the participants.
Many thanks to Dr. Andrew Masich, President and CEO, Heinz History Center, for providing his personal Civil War era mountain howitzer, which several participants had an opportunity to fire. Adding to the historical dimension of the event was John Tippin’s, of Sewickley, fully operational WWII M4 Sherman tank. Not only did participants get to ride it, but culminated the day by actually running over some of the target cars on the range. Realism was offered by three period reenactors of a tank crew; one of whom was chapter senior VP for operations, Steve Patarcity…a long time armored officer
As always, the event served as the venue to celebrate the US Army’s 241st birthday with the traditional cutting of the cake by the youngest and oldest Army veterans present. This year there was a 73 and 18-year-old veteran to do the honor using an Army saber with guidance from chapter president, Carlos Carmona Torres. Many thanks to Beth Carmona for all of her work in orchestrating not only the ceremonial cake, but running the registration tent, filling the gift bags, and served as overall event coordinator.
Providing the main entrée for lunch were Marty Santek and his son. They arrived on scene early with their fully portable, stainless steel BBQ trailer unit and got to work to produce BBQ chicken and pork for our delicious meal. Darla Hoagland and her team at the START range provided other food and beverage items.