King Air above the clouds over South Ohio, pointed toward Texas.
The protest during the President's 100, which started the week at Camp Perry, showed the Army Marksmanships opposition to the top-20 shootoff at the end of the match. (top 20 finishers shoot 10 more shots at 600 to determine the winner.) We didn't always have the the top-20 shootoff. Used to be that the person who won just won the match, period. The first year they instituted it, the guy who won the first match protested loudly.....and lost the shootoff. This year all the AMU folks refused to shoot. I'm all for protests but that did screw up the scores for the other folks in the shootoff. Also their top guy, Ty Cooper, DID shoot, kind of nullifying the protest effort. Cooper lost to the second place guy, Jared Perry.
In my view, it was kind of a mess. Cooper and the second place fellow both shot perfect scores in the first match, (300s), by the way, then the second place guy, Jared Perry, beat Cooper for the win.
Here are the results. I'm 104th. Right behind Justin Utley. I needed a point to make the Presidents.
As I say, I thought it was a mess, but the AMU will probably get their way and get the shootoff format cancelled. If I remember correctly, the shootoff was Gary Anderson's idea. Shootoffs are used mostly in Long Range when people tie or shoot above a certain score. They aren't a new idea in shooting sports.
The second strange event, also involving sportsmanship and procedure, was at the CMP Games Award Ceremony after firing was complete on Saturday afternoon. A small crowd gathered inside the Petrarca Range barn for the trophies and awards. The ceremony started out with JJ O'Shea and the M1s for Vets group awarding rifles to some of the guys on the team. After that we moved through various awards. I got a wood plaque and a handshake for being High Senior with Springfield 1903. The top woman, junior, old guy, et awards got passed out. At the end they start giving out raffle prizes. With the raffle prizes, you MUST be present to win. The drawing goes on and on. It's after 6:00 on Saturday and most folks have headed out to get home or are too tired to come down to Petrarca for chips and diet coke.
With the thinning crowd and the CMP drawing name after name, the crowd goes wild when someone IS there to claim a prize. They are giving away cases of ammo, new barrels, stocks and whole rifles. There are lots of groans when someone who is known wins a rifle...but isn't there. The last rifle comes up and is won by Rusty Hogg, our friend and competitor from Texas. Not there. The next name drawn was Greg Foster, our team mate from Pollock, Texas. (He and daughter Katye were already 150 miles South in their truck.) Alan, Rol and I were sitting one bench back from the front, where I had parked myself to get easy access to photos.) We hear the crowd start to cheer and some guy comes walking up the aisle to get the rifle. I'm a little confused at first, thinking Greg and Katye had stayed instead of leaving....they had plainly announced "Greg Foster, Pollock, Texas. This guy is NOT Greg Foster from Pollock, Texas but he goes forward and claims the rifle. By this time we are on our feet yelling: "You AREN'T Greg Foster!" in the middle of a cheering crowd. He lifts the rifle and actually says to us, "One Greg Foster is as good as another!" and then, "Don't worry, I'm giving this rifle to JJ O'Shea."
We are caught flat-footed, of course but kept yelling, "He's NOT Greg Foster from Texas!" while he hands the rifle to JJ. O'Shea and the crowd begins to break for the exits.
To the point, we were watching fraud, (He wasn't the winner of the rifle), and theft of a firearm. I don't care if he was going to melt it down, make needles and vaccinate starving children in Africa, giving the rifle to the M1 for Vets group is beside the point. It wasn't HIS rifle to give. Our Greg Foster wasn't going to get it, (not being present), but somebody else WAS. This guy stole that gun.
We immediately headed for the the CMP folks, who are being swarmed by well-wishers and friends while the crowd milled around. They are immediately starting to pack and roll up the set. I got the ear of the lady in charge and explained everything as plainly and simply as possible. Following up with a phone call today.
Just crazy. I've never seen anything like this before at a CMP or Highpower event.
Update: Due to the seriousness of this situation, I hope everyone notices I have not even speculated, nor would encourage speculation, on who this man might be.