Author Topic: Paralympic World Cup at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed AMU  (Read 991 times)

Offline Unbridled Liberty

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Paralympic World Cup at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed AMU
« on: November 14, 2011, 07:20:35 AM »
Fremont marksman's sights right on target
Published: 11/4/2011

At smallbore (.22 target) rifle competition, you always can tell Greg Drown. He's the guy with the yellow-stocked rifle. And the wheelchair.

But Drown, who has multiple sclerosis and hence the wheels, doesn't back down and doesn't make excuses. After all, in 2009 at the esteemed annual National Rifle and Pistols Matches at Camp Perry, he beat all comers in his specialty, any-sight three-position, or "3-P", with an enviable score of 1196X1200.

Last spring at the National Rifle Association's national indoors championships, an open competition, he finished second in the country among 310 shooters -- wheeled and ambulatory alike, all stripes -- with an 1157X1200 in the metric position smallbore rifle event.

So it was that the Fremont resident had high expectations when he competed a month ago in the Paralympic World Cup competition, among some 150 shooters from 27 countries, at the state-of-the-art ranges at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed Army Marksmanship Unit.

It was the first time the Cup was held in the Western Hemisphere, said Drown. Half or more of the competitors were in wheelchairs. Some, with cerebral palsy for instance, could walk with braces and sticks. Two guns on the American team were wounded vets -- "one guy had lost a leg at the hip; one woman lost a leg at the knee."

Drown's event, among others that included .177 air rifle and air pistol at 10 meters indoors and both .22 rifle and pistol at 50 meters outdoors, involved 120 shots in all, 40 each from adapted positions. From a wheelchair he shoots "standing" by holding the rifle unsupported, "kneeling" by supporting only one elbow on his shooting table accessory, and "prone" with both elbows supported.

He was the only U.S. shooter in the 3-P event, among 17 in the world. He could say he was the top U.S. gun, but that isn't saying anything. He could say he finished 17th in the world, but that isn't much either, considering the small field. "It's not what I expected at all," said Drown. "I wasn't very good."

But he isn't making excuses. "Here's how I operate: It just motivates me to do something better. It was a learning experience for me." And that, boys and girls, is the mark of a true champion.

Besides, the indoors season is just beginning and the NRA open sectionals are running January through March. Watch for that yellow-stocked rifle. And the wheels. In the winner's circle.

And here is another article about him:

And another link:

And from another 2009 article by Steve Pollick:
Fremont marksman Greg Drown has fired his way to a national championship at Camp Perry in the difficult discipline of three-position smallbore or .22 rifle, and he did it from a wheelchair.

Drown, who copes with multiple sclerosis, scored 1195-73X out of a possible 1200 among 324 competitors to win the any-sight smallbore competition in what is called "3P" - standing, kneeling and prone positions. Any-sight is half of the overall three-position championship, which derives from combined scores of metallic-sight and any-sight events.

By rule, Drown is allowed to use what are called adaptive positions to compete from a wheelchair. "I developed multiple sclerosis gradually between 1995 and 2000. It was a shock," said Drown, 49, in an interview with the National Rifle Association, one of the hosts of the annual National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry.

But with the encouragement of family, friends and a chance meeting in 2001 with a policeman - Detective Brooks Harris of the Nashville police department - he continued a shooting career begun as a teenager. Harris inspired Drown to resume competitive shooting and serve as a role model for others.

For standing position, Drown holds a hefty .22 target rifle without support, just like ambulatory shooters. For prone position, when others are on their stomachs and well-braced, he is allowed to shoot from a special table attached to his wheelchair, both elbows braced. For kneeling, he is allowed to rest one elbow, much as other shooters brace one elbow on a knee.

"He works every day and is the most upbeat guy you ever want to meet," said Rick Kusmer. He works in Fremont at Mosser Construction, Inc., with Drown, who is in charge of masonry operations.

"He shot for Ohio State in college," added Kusmer, "and was the captain of the rifle team in his junior and senior years. They won the Big Ten three out of four years. Greg tried out for the Olympics [1984] and in fact was asked to compete at their tryouts." Kusmer also noted that Drown was an avid triathlon athlete.

"He never stopped shooting and as you can see he is pretty good at it."

Indeed. Just last month Drown won the Ohio outdoor three-position championship, also at Camp Perry. He competes in both the central and northwest Ohio rifle leagues.

His shooting has become a family affair that includes his wife, Terri, twin 12-year-old sons, Dillon and Tyler, and 10-year-old daughter Jessica. At a match, they change targets for him and carry equipment to and from the firing line.

"My family is a huge help," he said.

Though he has won his share of state and regional titles, Drown said, "this was a surprise." The typically hot, muggy days on the Camp Perry range during the National Matches each summer challenge all shooters, but because of MS, Drown also has to fight against the fatigue the disease brings on. "It plays havoc on the body."

But this summer's cooler weather was an unexpected bonus for him.

"It was one of those things. I was doing really well this year. I'm always up there to do the best that I can."
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 07:50:04 AM by unbridled_liberty »

Offline Prone to Knit

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Re: Paralympic World Cup at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed AMU
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 12:13:00 PM »
Just awesome how some people aim to persevere and overcome any obstacle in their way!
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - George Orwell
That's why I knit for our troops.

Offline Spartan

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Re: Paralympic World Cup at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed AMU
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 06:08:56 PM »
That is an awesome post!
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Offline desertrat144

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Re: Paralympic World Cup at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed AMU
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 05:13:52 PM »
Fantastic post & pictures!  Thanks for sharing.  The descriptions and pictures of positions, equipment use and distance are almost a 'how to guide' in itself.

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Offline Unbridled Liberty

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Re: Paralympic World Cup at Fort Benning, Ga., home of the famed AMU
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 05:40:59 PM »
I think the adaptive positions make good common sense and shoot bosses would do well to have wheelchair or seated shooters use these positions on the appropriate AQT stages whenever possible.