Do you know why America places such a value on firearms? It starts with the very beginning of our country. As life has changed over those 200 plus years, it can be easy to forget, to get complacent, to think the things that happened back then could never happen now. But the reasons for defending ourselves are as important and as valid today as they were in 1775.
So how do we remember? How do we teach our kids? What do we teach our kids? Fortunately for us, there is a group that is dedicated to making sure none of us ever forget. Project Appleseed is an event put on by an all-volunteer non-partisan group called the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA). Their goal is to bring the nation’s history to life through story-telling and teaching rifle marksmanship skills.
I have been wanting to try Appleseed for a while now, and it was finally offered at a nearby range. My friend and I showed up at 8:30 am ready to go, along with 18 other students. Fifteen men and five women. Some were dads and sons, some were friends, a father and daughter teamed up to learn together. Shooters ranged from teenagers to senior citizens.
First we met our instructors and then had a short history lesson about the start of the Revolutionary War. We would have several more short stories throughout the day. First we shot our rifles just to see where we would be starting. Then we began learning each position (prone, kneeling, sitting, standing) and increased our speed along the way.
By the end of the weekend, three people earned their Rifleman patch. Not bad, considering our instructors told us an average of 10% earn their patch in their first Appleseed event. And as a nice bonus, the participants each got a t-shirt.
While it is easy to want to be competitive and earn your patch in your first event, it’s not likely. The main thing that meant so much to me was hearing the history and reminding myself of the blood that was shed to give our country a start. The standout piece from the event for me, was learning a John Adams quote: “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”
To find an Appleseed event near you, click here.