Thursday, November 24, 2005

First - Time Shooter . . . !

¶ . . . I went once again, my second visit, to shoot the match with the Prado IPSC group, and what a disgusting performance! More on that to follow . . .
. . . The outing was a success, however, as I rigged up my son to shoot his first match! His basics, stance, grip, observance of safety protocols, focus, and overall attitude were very good. Good job! In fact, I detected no real first time jitters, at least not as much as I perceived my own my first time out. He'll get one more go at it at my home club's monthly match this Sunday before he reports to Camp Pendleton on Tuesday . . .

¶ . . . Some thoughts on my rancid performance;they may or may not be reasons, but they're definitely not excuses:
  • I was a little preoccupied with my son being comfortable for his first match

  • Shooting in a small squad of four, didn't have much "prep" time between stages

  • Finally got classified in Limited ("C" !!) two days prior and wasn't too concerned with doing well on Tight Squeeze, which I always nertz anyway (!)

  • I don't practice (Weak!)

   All in all, a big crock, but no excuse. This week I'll shoot my game and make a good effort. I'd like to get a "B" classification this coming year and with a little more awareness and diligence on my part, there's no reason I can't realize it. I am also going to submit the request for my 2006 vacation periods to coincide with some of the major matches, those above the club level. Area 2, Dundee Practical Shooters' (Oregon) "Croc Match," and "The Silver Buckle Challenge" (Sage Pistol League, Ridgecrest, CA) come to mind. There are challenges there and more fun and adventure to boot . . . !

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm A Proud Father Of . . . A United States Marine!!

¶ . . . Indulge me, but I'm beaming!! What more can I say? My wife, daughter, and I returned today with our son from the two-day graduating ceremonies at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and I really can't express how exciting it all was! Thursday was "Family Day." The day started with an opportunity for one to see their Marines begin their "Moto Run," or Motivational Run, their final run together as a company. It's also the first time you have seen your Marine in 13 weeks, and I'm not ashamed to say I shed a couple tears of pride as I saw my son. This is also the day of the Emblem Ceremony, where the men are awarded the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and are officially bestowed the title of United States Marine. Again, a couple more unubashed tears.

Five hours of Base Liberty afterward gave ample time for an unforgettable visit (Of course, this father's questions tended to drift frequently to what "trigger time" was like!!). What I thought was real neat, and by my son's account the sentiments of the Drill Insructors, also, was that they received their Emblems on the occasion of The Marine Corps Birthday . . .

. . . Today, Friday, was the Graduation Ceremony, an impressive display of pageantry, indeed. And a packed house it was! Both days we were blessed with good weather, as the rain let up in the daytime hours. A good son by any account previously, still the change is remarkable. The aura of personal responsibility and deportment , in all the men, is overwhelming. By noontime, however, it was all over, and the weeks of anticipation, the wondering, the writing and receiving of letters, all seemed to have gone by so fast. One could not help wishing that the moment could last a little longer . . .
. . . I must add, the base has a fine "Command Museum." If you get a chance, check it out. It's open to the public and is free of charge. Obviously there are weapons but one display I really was impressed by was "The California Room"; I really liked the paintings of The Marines in The Mexican War, by Colonel Charles Waterhouse. They look to me to be in the style of frontier artists Russell and Remington, artwork I hold a real passion for. Also, I haven't been yet, but my mother and father, who also attended and spent some more time in town, went to and recommend a visit to the carrier USS Midway. Apparently it is presently San Diego's number one attraction . . .
   Get Some!!