On November 16th the Fort Pitt Chapter of the Association of the United States Army along with FNH USA held the first annual “Warrior Shoot” for family and friends of the Pittsburgh Warrior Community. With the donation of their facility, personnel and services for the day the membership gathered at START (Special Tactics and Rescue Training) early in the morning to enjoy a day of education, experimentation and excitement on some of today’s unique and effective warrior systems.
Ranging from ages 8 to 80; Warriors from all branches, Veterans from Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan, Industry
Partners, Wounded Warriors and their families received the opportunity to test out the newest FNH USA systems, to include SCAR fully automatic 7.62, FNH 9mm, less than lethal systems and the M3P .50 caliber machine gun system. At the end of the day FNH USA had a FREE raffle to attendees for a brand new FNH 9MM.
A special thank you to START for the use of their facility and AM Vets for the personnel support of our Wounded Warriors that were present.
By KIM LOCCISANO
Times Leader Staff Writer
“It was a great day to make dirt fly!”
A crisp early winter’s day spent largely out of doors among the hills of Eastern Ohio about an hour west of Pittsburgh with fellow veterans, family and friends old and new proved the perfect day for the inaugural “Warrior Shoot” organized by The Fort Pitt Chapter (Pittburgh, Pa.) of the Association of the United States Army, FNHUSA Guns, AMVETS Post 275 and Mingo Junction, Ohio site host business: S.T.A.R.T. – Special Tactics and Rescue Training.
“It is a great day to put some lead down range,” offered Harrisburg, Pa. based Command Sergeant Major Christopher Kepner of the 28th Infantry Division.
A sentiment clearly shared by all, as was the core mission goal, according to the man in the lead of the entire organizing effort which brought the day to life in such a way that it easily left a positive memory with everyone on site: military or civilian, active or retired who were present at S.T.A.R.T. throughout the day of the “Warrior Shoot”.
Carlos Carmona, president of the Fort Pitt Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, could not have been more pleased with how the event played out.
The exceptional array of lethal and less-than-lethal weapons platforms made available for the day’s activities through FNH USA Guns offered some newer and unique weapon systems.
S.T.A.R.T.’s multi-functional venue is the operational headquarters for a cadre of businesses founded and led by retired United States Navy (SEAL) Senior Chief Frank Hoagland whose career with the Teams and subsequent work with other government agencies blanketed a span of 30 years of service.
The day’s structure was informal with family style hospitality extended to all in attendance while making educational resources available simply for the asking from a solid team of FNH USA Guns professionals ready to share some instructional time and on range experiences all simply for the asking to any and all who were interested in additional on range time with FNH USA educators, and others.
Thanks to the flexibility across S.T.A.R.T.’s array of range bays there was no shortage of opportunities for hands on connections for the more than 50 veterans registered for the “Warrior Shoot” with some of the new and unique weapons platforms and a special opportunity for a limited number of participants to draw winning tickets on chances to shoot a 50 cal. machine gun.
AMVETS as an organization stepped up to help provide food and refreshments for the veterans and their family members who attended the event with them.
Dan Wilson of AMVETS noted this was the first opportunity his organization had been connected withabout which was designed to provide resources enabling veterans and their family members to enjoy a common experience of this type – something not easily coordinated in a different environment.
Highlight of the day for all was the opportunity garnered by Wounded Warrior Scott Filsinger of Murrysville, Pa. – when it came time to draw winning chances for the limited opportunities to put lead down range in a big way – by shooting the 50 cal.
Filsinger’s efforts while at the weapon’s controls were met with applause and encouragement by all those who had been giving the various weapons platforms a go throughout the day.
S.T.A.R.T. is located at 797 Cool Springs Road, Mingo Junction, Ohio which is less than an hour west of Pittsburgh and just minutes from St. Rt. 7 (Ohio) making the event’s location the range at S.T.A.R.T. easily accessible for veterans to come in for the event from throughout the region, accessing it easily from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Information on the available resources at S.T.A.R.T., or through them can be accessed by calling the centralized office of the company at 740-598-4891 or via www.strt.us