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VFW to host sixth annual Tournament of Warriors

A group of volunteers gathered recently at the Leadington VFW to plan the sixth annual Tournament of Warriors event to be held in April. The event attempts to reconnect wounded and disabled veterans with nature through fishing and shooting events led by guides. 

The VFW Post 5741 in Leadington is planning their sixth annual Tournament of Warriors to be held this coming spring.

The Tournament of Warriors, an event for wounded or disabled veterans, will be held April 24-26. The purpose is to reconnect veterans with the outdoors.

The event will focus on two main events, the first being a fishing tournament held at S-bar-F Scout Ranch in Madison County on April 25. Veterans will be provided a fishing guide and go out and compete in a tournament which will provide the fish for the evening meal.

The meal, a fish fry, will be held at the VFW in Farmington, located at 814 East Karsch Blvd., and is open to the public. An awards ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. that evening followed by the meal at 7 p.m.

The event continues the next day with a five-stand shoot to be held at Leadbelt Gun Club in Desloge from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This shoot is open to the public for $20 per person. Shells are provided, but shooters must bring their own shotgun. The VFW is also planning a gun raffle to accompany the event.

According to the NRA, a typical round of five-stand involves shooting five targets at all five shooting stations, requiring a box of 25 shells to complete the round. Usually, a single target is thrown from each shooting station, followed by two pairs of targets.

The pairs may be thrown on-report, as a following-pair, or as a true-pair. On-report means that a second target is thrown as soon as you fire at the first target; in other words, on report of the gun. A following-pair means a second target is thrown automatically a few seconds after the first. And with a true-pair both targets are thrown simultaneously.

The event is a local part of Camp Valor, a 501c3 non-profit organization, dedicated to military veterans.  According to their website they recognize and honor ill, injured, and wounded members of the military (active duty, retired, and veterans) and their families through adaptive and competitive activities such as guided fishing, hunting, shooting, archery, four-wheeling, or just simply relaxing around the campfire.

All branches of the military services, from any generation, are welcome. 

According to the group, warriors are never alone on the battlefield and shouldn't be alone when they come back home. Healing in the great outdoors with Camp Valor Outdoors and reconnecting with fellow warriors is therapeutic and essential to healing.

The local VFW is in need of donations to make this event successful, particularly from local businesses and organizations. Donations may be sent to Leadington VFW Post 5741, P.O. Box 767, Park Hills, MO 63601, and should be marked “Tournament of Warriors.”

This event also depends on a number of volunteers to assist in transportation, meals, or assisting the veterans in fishing or hunting. To become a sponsor, individuals can contact Bill Henson at 573-760-3611 or Frank Ramirez at 573-330-1124.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at mmcfarland@dailyjournalonline.com.

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