May 25, 2012
Documenting a Long Journey
On Wednesday, June 13 Outdoor Channel will air a special edition of ShootingUSA. I seldom make a big deal out of television shows, including ones where I'm personally involved. This show's different.
It does more than tell one brave guy's story. It give you a look inside an ongoing evolution in the shooting sports. An evolution that Shooting USA's Jim Scoutten has helped get going. In fact, Scoutten calls this "the most significant thing I've done in eighteen years of making television shows about shooting." He's not just talking about the program entitled "Trevor's Story".
I first met Trevor Baucom when Scoutten introduced us at the NRA Show in Pittsburgh. Since then, I've followed Trevor and shared some of his story with you. That's because he's someone I think you'd enjoy knowing. I know I do. But he's more than just a great guy who's overcoming some significant obstacles in his life.
For me, he's the definition of a hero. He's never tried to do anything heroic, just do the right thing whatever the circumstance.
A Blackhawk pilot and flight leader with the Fifth Battalion, 101st Airborne Brigade, CW3 Trevor Baucom was recognized by his superiors and fellow soldiers as much more than just a highly-capable leader. He seemed destined for a great career in the military- until the night his copilot flew their Blackhawk into the ground during a nighttime special forces mission against the Taliban. Three Australian soldiers and one of Trevor's flight crew were killed.
Baucom survived, but life changed forever. Paralyzed from the waist down, Baucom's military career was over. That's only the beginning of "Trevor's Story".
What Trevor's doing today is the story with the potential to impact all of us -positively. It's also the story Scoutten and his team have spent lots of time documenting.
As Scoutten documents Trevor's journey into shooting sports, we see many names we recognize pitching in. Smith & Wesson president James Debney, pro shooters Todd Jarrett, Julie Golob, Jerry Miculek, Scott Carnahan, IDPA President Joyce Wilson, NRA Bianchi Cup Coordinator Tom Hughes and others all worked to make it possible for Trevor to compete.
As you'll see, Baucom worked to be the best representative the disabled community could possibly have. His ready smile and ability to laugh at himself made it easy to welcome him -and move toward welcoming other wheelchair-bound people into the shooting sports.
"Trevor's Story" is only one wounded warrior's personal story.
But it's also a documentary about making a difference in shooting.
The NRA, IDPA, and USPSA all recognize the potential. Only minor - and entirely reasonable- modifications can make it possible for wheelchair-bound shooters to compete on otherwise equal footing with the rest of us.
That's the part of Trevor's Story I liked best.
My only handicap has been a lack of ability. The encouragement of many of the same "real" shooters kept me coming back, despite knowing I'd never be truly competitive.
That's the same genuine welcome Trevor's gotten- and you'll see that on Wednesday, June 13 as ShootingUSA's tells his story.
It's the same welcome Trevor's helping extend toward other wounded warriors.
If they're all like Trevor, the rest of us is in trouble. He's not just gotten involved in competition, he's gotten good.
If you can't catch the show on Wednesday, June 13, I'd encourage you to set your digital recorder to record it for you. It's the inspiring story of one very likable guy, but it will likely leave you wanting to do more to get others like Baucom involved in shooting.
And you can.
The Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) organization is working to include wounded warriors reengaged with the outdoors - and shooting. If you're in the industry, go to www.honoredveterans.org and learn how your company can help.
If you're a fellow shooter, contact HAVA to see if you can help at one of their events. If you purchase a DVD of the show (they'll be offered after the program airs), a portion of those proceeds will be donated to HAVA.
We're observing Memorial Day holiday, and won't be publishing a Shooting Wire on Monday. But we'll have plenty of stories from the 2012 Bianchi Cup when we get back.
Have a safe holiday- and don't forget why we celebrate Memorial Day.