Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) announced another very successful HAVA/SAPD National Family Day held last week at the SAPD Training Academy. In 8 annual family day events in San Antonio, HAVA has hosted over 1,400 disabled veterans and more than 2,800 including family members since its inception in 2008.
HAVA welcomed over 100 veterans and 250 total family members despite near-constant torrential rain and flooding. Disabled veterans and their families from all over South Texas braved the elements to participate in this flagship event that featured shooting exhibitions by Max Michel and Micah McMillan, who amazingly did his trademark shotgun exhibition in the wind and rain. “Gunny” (R. Lee Ermey) also entertained guests.
On the (thankfully covered) range, participants enjoyed shooting stages with various firearms chambered in .223, 9mm and .22LR. Youngsters ran through stages in SAPD’s “shoot house” with air soft guns and child care was provided for small children. As is usual practice at HAVA’s Family Days, all youth participants went home with a raffle prize. Lunch and dinner were provided along with backpacks filled with gifts and an adult raffle table with over $15,000 worth of firearms, optics and other outdoor gear.
“We were utterly shocked that 250 attendees and 80 volunteers actually showed up despite the miserable conditions,” said HAVA Chairman Tom Taylor. “All the rain didn’t dampen our guest’s spirits and the general sentiment was that only those with the tough minded mentality of our U.S. Military would come in such numbers on a day like that. These are military families who have faced enemies, family tragedy and disruption far worse than a rain storm – and who were not about to let some soggy conditions spoil a great day. It was, as always, our privilege to represent the shooting sports industry in “giving-back” to these deserving Americans, and the SAPD is a model host at their 700 acre training center.”
“Our training officers look forward to the HAVA event each year representing all of the sworn officers of the department,” said Capt. Jimmy Reyes of the SAPD Academy. “For us, it’s a unique form of community outreach as it serves those who have given so much, and to whom we all owe more than we can ever repay. Many of our men and women officers are ex-military who know too well the family and personal sacrifices of service life. Many thanks to the HAVA team for allowing us to share in this important effort.”
HAVA is a 501(c)3 organization formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry with the purpose of raising awareness and further assisting disabled veterans with their healing process through guided hunts, shooting events and other outdoor sports activities. The sustaining sponsor companies are Smith & Wesson, NSSF, Sig Sauer, Academi, ATK/Federal, Barrett, Crimson Trace, Diamondback, FMG Publications, Glock, Hornady, Leapers/OTG, Leupold & Stevens, Mossberg, NASGW, Proof Research, Ruger, Surefire, Taurus, XS Sights, and Yamaha Outdoors among numerous contributing companies. Those who would like to learn more about the HAVA organization can do so at http://www.honoredveterans.org.
The San Antonio police Dept. consists of 2,300 officers dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people of San Antonio by creating a safe environment in partnership with the people they serve. They act with integrity to reduce fear and crime while treating all with respect, compassion and fairness. Learn more at http://www.sanantonio.gov/sapd.aspx