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The Great Americans Shoot
NEWHALL, CA – The 2017 Great Americans Shoot returns to Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall, California from September 29 through October 1 and is aiming to surpass the previous three years’ fundraising records. The charity sporting clay shoot benefits the Special Forces Charitable Trust and other military nonprofits that provide support to active duty service members and veterans. More than $4 million has been raised since the Shoot’s inception in 2014.
The Great Americans Shoot is hosted by the Special Forces Charitable Trust, which delivers critical, enduring support through comprehensive programs and services to the United States Army Special Forces Community – past and present – and their families in order to improve their quality of life and enhance mission readiness.
The main event of the Great Americans Shoot, which takes place on Saturday September 30, is a one-of-a-kind experience. There will be twenty teams of five participating in the shoot; each team has committed to raising a minimum of $50,000. Each team will include a “6th Man” from within the Special Operations Community, who will join the shooting competition as an honorary team member.
Half of the proceeds will go to the Special Forces Charitable Trust. The other half of the proceeds will be given to the designated charities of the top five fundraising teams.
“The Great Americans Shoot continues to grow each year, raising money and awareness for these deserving military nonprofits,” said David T. Guernsey, Jr., Executive Director of Special Forces Charitable Trust. “We had more than 100 participants last year from across the country supporting the Special Forces Charitable Trust and Special Operations Community, and we expect even bigger participation this year.”
This year’s Co-Chairs for the 2017 Great Americans Shoot are former Green Beret Nate Boyer, former Navy SEAL George Severence, and former Marine John Croft.
In 2004, Nate Boyer was a relief worker, helping the people of Sudan in the refugee camps along the Darfur Region. While in Africa battling Malaria, he heard over the radio about the battle of Fallujah in Iraq and knew he had to join the fight.
“I felt it was my duty,” said Nate. “I knew I wanted to be a Green Beret, so I studied up, and then enlisted.”
During his 10 years with U.S. Army Special Forces, Nate had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, working with partner forces against a common enemy.
Nate has always displayed his pride in being an American, whether he was leading the football team out of the tunnel with the American flag while long-snapping at the University of Texas; or engaging in productive conversation with Colin Kaepernick, after the San Francisco 49ers quarterback had refused to stand during the National Anthem.
“I supported his right to protest, but I didn’t necessarily agree with it. We talked for a few hours and had a better understanding of each other. While Colin continued his protest, he decided after our meeting to kneel on the sideline during the Star Spangled Banner, instead of sitting on the bench. I still preferred that he stood, but felt that taking a knee was a bit more respectful than sitting on the bench.”
Nate is proud and honored to be named Co-Chair of the 2017 Great Americans Shoot. And, he has a message for all potential donors.
“You are the reason we are so brave. We know that people like you have our backs while we are downrange, and that our families will be taken care of while we are deployed. Having that kind of support removes a lot of the fear, and we are extremely grateful.”
Nate met Special Forces Charitable Trust President Terry English in Houston at an SFCT event. “Terry and the Trust represent all that is good about our country and our military. I am honored to be a part of the Special Forces brotherhood, to be associated with the Trust and to participate as a Co-Chair for this year’s Shoot.”
Nate understands what it is like to be a Green Beret, a “Quiet Professional.”
“You don’t hear about us much, and that is the way it should be. It’s a brotherhood like nothing else, and we appreciate the support of the Trust and other military nonprofits involved in the Great Americans Shoot.”
Master Gunnery Sergeant John A. Croft
Master Gunnery Sergeant John A. Croft spent 27 years in the United States Marine Corps, more than 20 years in Marine Reconnaissance. He has been deployed to more than 40 countries, including combat duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He currently serves as Senior Director of Events for GORUCK Events, LLC, founded by former Green Beret Jason McCarthy.
John joins the 2017 Great Americans Shoot as Co-Chair with a unique perspective on the needs of our military warriors and their families.
“The military is working under what I call an increased tempo,” said John. “This is increasing the stress and strain on military families, most of whom would never even think of asking for help.”
“We are trained to do our job and to be self sufficient. If there is an issue at home, we are not the types to go looking for assistance. Organizations like the Special Forces Charitable Trust and other military nonprofits provide critical resources in a quiet and respectful way, and we are extremely grateful to them and their donors.”
John is impressed with the Shoot’s record of raising nearly $ 4 million in its first three years, and he is looking forward to the challenge of helping to raise more than $1 million this year.
“I am impressed how many great Americans have come together to show such support for our military. To past and present donors, I say thank you. To potential donors, I say, please consider joining us. You will make lifelong friends and feel a certain level of pride in knowing how much you have helped.”
George Severence had always dreamed of being a Navy SEAL. He followed that dream after graduating from college, and served on the front lines in the War on Terror. Over seven deployments during his two decades in the Navy, he rose from enlisted SEAL to junior officer, to troop commander.
George retired from active duty in July 2016 and is working on a variety of passion projects that allow him to spend more time with his family. He is especially proud of his work with Valor For Life, a nonprofit organization that provides veterans with no-cost surgical spine care. George is also thrilled to be named a Co-Chair for the 2017 Great Americans Shoot.
“The Special Forces Charitable Trust has helped my family,” said George. “I was touched and honored by the support provided to my family by the Trust, and I am happy to do what I can to help raise money for this year’s shoot.”
George says he understands the stress and uncertainty facing military families, in particular during the post 9/11 era, when deployments are more frequent, far away, and dangerous.
“My family and I have gone through it, so we know what it is like. I can’t emphasize enough how much the work of the Special Forces Charitable Trust and other military nonprofits makes a difference in the lives of so many military families.”
George has a message for those who donate, or are considering donating to this year’s Great Americans Shoot.
“First of all, thank you for your consideration, for thinking of our military personnel who continue to go down range in these uncertain times. This is not like World War II, when just about every American family was directly touched by the conflict. To all potential donors, many of whom have no direct relationship with the military, I say thank you for understanding what our families face. Your participation means so much to us.”
George also understands the challenge of raising a special needs child. His son requires 24-hour care, seven days a week, and will need that care for the rest of his life.
“Life is all about challenges, and my family has been blessed by an extraordinary amount of support. My being named Co-Chair of the 2017 Great Americans Shoot allows me to show my gratitude, by getting involved in an event that helps so many people.”