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Tuesday, 08 November 2011 20:38

TIAA Associate Member Hosts Skeet Shoot for Wounded Warriors

Wounded warriors currently taking part in rehabilitation programs at the San Antonio Military Medical Center took aim on October 1 at a free skeet shoot courtesy of Lone Star Radiator Company, an associate member of the Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA).

Lone Star Radiator Company honored America’s military heroes for their extreme sacrifices in combat by hosting the event. With the help of sponsors the wounded military personnel were equipped with shotguns, ammo and everything else needed to fire at the elusive clay birds.

The event was sponsored by Lone Star Radiator Company, Rio Skeet Mobile Skeet Shoots, Monterey Iron & Medal Company, Thompson Print & Matting Solutions, Pure Party ice, Triple J. Pumps Inc., Circus Bingo and Veteran Outdoors.

David Bippert, co-owner of Lone Star Radiator, said his company started the event a year ago because everyone at the company wanted to give something back to the men and women who have served and sacrificed for freedom.

At the skeet shoot, Bippert said there were many volunteers who gladly provided services, cooked and cleaned because they wanted to see the Soldiers enjoying this unique sport and be able to eat a brisket lunch with all the fixings.


“They are very humble,” Bippert stressed about the wounded warriors. “They’re so surprised and thankful (to be honored), because it’s part of the job that they signed up to do. And it makes them feel good when you do call them heroes, even though they may not think of themselves as that.”

Participants also received prizes donated by Academy Sports & Outdoors.

Army Cpl. Armin Gamalyan, took first place at the skeet shoot. He is recovering from wounds he received when an improvised explosive device ejected him from his position as a mounted gunner in Afghanistan Dec. 2, 2010.

After the event, Gamalyan said he had fun and was blown away by all the support.

“I’m from California. Texas is amazing. They love their veterans here,” Gamalyan said about the day’s activities. “It’s great getting out of the barracks, letting us shoot… the food was awesome.”

Retired Army Master Sgt. Daniel Robles from San Antonio took second place. He is a double amputee from injuries received when an IED hit his Humvee in Baghdad in 2006.

“This is pretty much the best kind of therapy you can get being outside with a bunch of people that like to do what you like to do,” Robles said. “Even walking around out here… gets you back into things and proves to yourself you are able to do things.”

Robles said it was also good to meet Capt. William Lyles, who is also a double amputee and early in the process of his recovery. He was injured when he stepped on an IED during a firefight Aug. 28, 2010 in Afghanistan.

Lyles brought his wife and four kids to enjoy the activities. Although he was unable to participate in the skeet because he is still early in the recovery process, it was clear he was moved by the generosity and support of everyone.

“Events like this are just… I mean honestly amazing,” Lyles said. “They give guys chances to do things they’ve never done. I mean heck, my wife is down there shooting a rifle right now and never shot before in her life. The support of the people here in San Antonio, just the surrounding area, people have been amazing. I don’t think I can say thank you enough for all that I have received. Even just a thank you or pat on the back or someone shaking my hand really means a lot.” 

Bippert said that Lone Star Radiator and sponsors also donated $2,000 to Veteran Outdoors so more wounded warriors could also experience an activity similar to their skeet shoot.

For more information about Lone Star Radiator Company, go to www.lonestarradiator.com.

 

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