Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Letter From Capt. Jo Walker

This letter is written by Capt. Jo Walker aka “The new guy at Wartrace”.

After returning from overseas duty, 1973-75, I shot from 1976-88 representing the All National Guard pistol team. Shooting matches are nothing new to me so I can speak from experience when I say, “No team or match has ever offered the fellowship and friendly atmosphere of SASS and the Wartrace Regulators”.

Memphis was the first SASS State match I have ever attended and I came in 7th. in the 49ers. category and missed a trophy by 2 standings. But it really did not matter because I was given a trophy by the Wartrace Regulators that means more to me than any piece of wood and gold plated plastic Memphis had to offer.

No less than 8 Regulators spoke to me with encouragement. I was told by multiple members that in the short 6 months I have been a Wartrace Regulator that they have seen me improve my newly learned skills with good results. Each member offered their smile and words of wisdom. Each one gave me something worth more than a materialistic symbol, they gave me the best trophy anyone could offer. A true sincere trophy given from the heart. A trophy that I am an accepted member of the Wartrace Regulators and we work as a team to assist one another.

I only hope that I can have the honor of passing this trophy down to other new members in the future with the same sincerity and wisdom that it was given to me.

Things I learned at the Memphis State Match.

#1, Sleep well before the match, if you have a favorite pillow or blanket bring it to the hotel with you. If you can not sleep…you will miss.

#2, Do not shoot your first stage of the day at 100%, about 80% will do. Otherwise…you will miss.

#3, Do not take extra arthritis, heart pills or night pain medication before a match or…you will miss.

#4, Do not wear new uncomfortable boots to the match. About the 5th. stage you are thinking about your feet and not the targets and…you will miss.

#5, If the stage is muddy, slow down or you may fall down and…you will miss.

#6, If you practice for 6 long weeks at your home range and the State match targets are not in the exact same spot they were at home…you will miss.

#7, If you are used to shooting 6 stages at Wartrace and Memphis has 10 stages remember to bring extra ammo…or you will have nothing to miss with.

#8, If you spend 6 long weeks practicing your style of shooting and 10 minutes before you shoot someone suggests you change your style, Don’t do it!…or you will miss…several times.

#9, If you practice 6 long weeks before a match there is a good chance some of the screws on your Marlin rifle may be loose. Holding the lever screw in with your left pinkie finger during a stage will….make you miss.

#10, If you are so nervous about the match that your digestive track shuts down from Thursday evening until Sunday evening, there is a good chance it may become operative again about 1 mile before you return home. Be sure you have the house keys properly staged, loaded and cocked in your hand before you reach your front door…or you will miss.