Shots rang out this morning to mark the 21st annual Don James Memorial Rifle Match hosted by the Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association High Power Rifle Club.
According to Brian Davis of Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association High Power Rifle Club, the event was started after the Persian Gulf War.
"We wanted to do something for our soldiers and so we hold a match, shoot guns and eat barbeque every year" he said.
This event is held on the first Saturday of July each year to honor citizen soldiers and veterans. Participants competed in a 50 round match and shot 3 relays. The rifles that were used in the match were all Service Rifles such as AR-15, M-14, M-1 Garands, M-1 Carbines and Springfield bold action rifles.
"The most prevalent are the AR-15's, which is equivalent to the M-16's our soldiers use today" said Davis.
The participation fee was $10 and over 25 shooters competed in the match. Some participants were from the junior group, which is 20 years and under. Shooters competed for special awards, one which included the highly contested Veteran Award. Winners receive a special belt buckle to wear around.
This event is sponsored by Billy James, brother of Don James. As a tradition, every year Billy treats the participants to some barbeque after the event.
The organization encourages anyone that has ever been in the military, current or former to come participate, shoot and have a good time.
Davis says it's "Just a celebration of freedom is all we're doing out here. We're celebrating our freedom and just being glad we're Americans and telling our soldiers that we appreciate them."
The Veterans Award went to Richard Wearth of Wichita Falls this year.
For more information on the Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association High Power Rifle Club, you can visit their website at http://nwtfs.org/ or call them at (940) 692-1141.