By Walt JohnsonDecember 4, 2008
FORT CARSON, Colo.-The Fort Carson Enlisted Spouses Charitable Organization wanted to find a way to raise funds to help children make the adjustment to military life and needed to come up with an event that would be supported by Soldiers and their Families.
So one day when a group of the members were in Jennifer Sweet's garage, an idea came into focus and from there the post's Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot event.
Katrina Barnhart, Enlisted Spouses Charitable Organization spokesperson, said the event took a little bit of rush planning and some dedication to getting it done that made the steps leading up to the event as much fun as the event was - the people who took part.
"I know back home we have done these type of events and they usually turn out to be quite fun. We thought it would be fun for the Soldiers, who normally have to go out to the ranges with all of their gear, and their Families, who don't normally get to shoot, to be able to come out, shoot and have some fun," Sweet said.
"I just threw it out there because we were in my garage one day in September and we wanted to do something. We know that the officers' wives do things like Santa's Workshop and Casino Night and we wanted to do something that we could associate with the Enlisted Spouses Charitable Organization so we thought this is kind of seasonal and something we can do," Sweet added.
Barnhart said the idea sounded great but there was a lot of work that had to be accomplished before the event could go from the planning to the implementation phase. Barnhart said what usually would take months to get done was done in a matter of weeks thanks to some attention from post officials and a lot of hard work from the group's members.
"We had to submit our request for this through the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation to get this process started. It then had to go through the legal office and the garrison commander's office for approval. We thought it would be tough to get all the permissions we needed and then get the word out in about a month and a half's time. It put a lot on us to get all the coordination done. It took us over a month to get the permission and then we had to coordinate with the fire department, provost marshal and the range control people to put this together. Then we had to make sure the word got out to the post people and their Family members, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion people. We even had some inquiries from people at the Air Force Academy," Barnhart added.
One of the people who had a great time at the event was Brandon Real. Real, who shot six out of six in the orange center target, said the event gave him a chance to do something he has done all his life and that he loves - shooting.
"I've been shooting ever since I have been old enough to hold a gun. I grew up hunting and I have been shooting since I joined the Army about 10 years ago. I love to be outside and I love shooting. This is one of my favorite past times. You can get into competitive shooting though I don't do it as much as I would like so now I just like to go hunting and then shoot for myself at events like this," Real said.
Another member of the post community Raina Martin said the event was the perfect way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
"I grew up shooting, I love it and I have friends that keep me in the loop on events like this. I love shooting and this is a great time for me. I have been shooting since the time I could put a gun in my hand. My dad had two girls first and we got the benefit of what he wanted to teach his children. Since we could walk he taught us the rules and regulations of handling a gun and let us shoot," Martin said.
A portion of the proceeds for the event went to Parent-to-Parent, a program that helps military children adjust to military life.