Wounded Warriors, Olympians at Carson City gun club
January 24, 2014
Olympian Frank Thompson and Matt Amos, a wounded warrior back from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, were among dozens of gun fanciers shooting and schmoozing Thursday in Carson City.
The shoot, which ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Capitol City Gun Club on Arrowhead Drive, was held in conjunction with the Wild Sheep Foundation Convention and Sporting Expo under way through Saturday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
Thompson, who is from Nebraska, and Amos, who hails from Kansas, were on hand to join dozens of others bearing shotguns to take out sporting clays during the event at the club.
Thompson, with several other members of the current national shotgun team, competed in London during the most recent Olympics and acquitted himself well, but he didn't quite make the cut.
"I'm a skeet shooter," he said. "I was eighth; I was one target out of the field."
Amos, a veteran who recently retired after a decade that included two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, was a sergeant in the Marine Corps. The wounded warrior, who lost his legs to an improvised explosive device in the field, was asked if he is a good shot.
"On a rifle, yes," he replied, standing tall on his prosthetic legs and carrying a cane. "I'm still learning on the shotgun."
The event paired the warriors and other shooters with members of the national team. Along with Thompson, team members on hand were Jake Wallace of California, Kayle Browning of Arkansas, Caitlin Connor of Louisiana and Amber English of Colorado.
English explained that she and her colleagues will compete in various events and for spots on the next Olympic shooting squad, each of them hoping to make the grade.
"That's the goal," she said.
Thompson, 25, hails from northwestern Nebraska and grew up shooting. He said he was in his first international match by 2004.
Buddy Duvall, on the national team for 15 years and for the past decade executive director of the U.S. Shooting Team Foundation, said the Carson City event would help raise funds to advance current team members toward their goals.
Dave Gilles, local gun club treasurer, expressed pleasure that the local event and annual shoot for the Wild Sheep Foundation gave wounded warriors an opportunity to shoot with national team members.