Shots open National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry

The Fremont News-Messenger is reporting that the 2011 "First Shot" Ceremony at the NRA Rifle & Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio was a first in more ways than one - the July 11 event marked the first time the National Rifle and Pistol Championships had two "first shot" shooters at the opening ceremony.

From the article:

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Sene Polu's first trip to Ohio was for another "first" -- the first time the National Rifle and Pistol Championships had two "first shot" shooters at the opening ceremony.

Polu and Under Secretary of the U.S. Army Joseph W. Westphal, the guest speaker, fired at targets that exploded with fireworks at the end of the ceremony Monday evening at Camp Perry.

"He's a real hero," Westphal said.

Polu was injured by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2008, and is going through physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The secretary said the sergeant has endured severe injuries and several surgeries but maintains a good attitude and demeanor.

"I'm proud to be with you, sergeant," he said.

During his speech, Westphal reminded the crowd of how President Theodore Roosevelt established the competition after seeing how the American army's lack of shooting skills hurt the forces during the Spanish-American War.

"It was because they knew the consequences of not being ready for war," the undersecretary said.

"The world has changed considerably in the last century. It is just as unsettled as it was when Theodore Roosevelt established this competition," he said.

"You have the best Army, the best Navy, the best Air Force, the best Marine Corps in the world."

The First Shot ceremony included a concert by the 122nd Army Band and a mock foot patrol by Green Beret personnel from the Ohio Army National Guard as members delivered the American flag.

A complete calendar of events at the 2011 NRA National Matches, and a link to additional information, is available on our Events Page.

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