By Jim Henderson
Greetings ORPA members! I hope the new year finds you all happy and healthy!
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and give you all a little of my background. I joined the Army at 17.5 years old in January of 1985. Went through Basic training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft Knox, Kentucky to become a glorious member of the US Army Armor Corp! For a kid from Pasadena California, the Kentucky winter was a rude awakening!
I started as a bullseye pistol shooter in 1989. I was picked for assignment to the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in 1990. Funny thing was, I had no idea there was such a place within the Army. To be honest, before 1989 I’d never really considered there was such a thing as competitive marksmanship. I’d watched Biathalon in the Olympics as a kid, but that was about it. I spent 4 years at AMU then went off Active duty and went to the Reserves in 1994.
I then moved to Missouri and ended up working some jobs I didn’t really like. After a couple of years I was hired as a Lineman for AT&T. Worked there for almost 9 years. In that time 9-11 happened and the war on terror was in full swing. After winning NRA Pistol Nationals for the first time in ‘06, I felt the need to be back on Active duty. January 2006, I went back to USAMU, even volunteered to go to Afghanistan for a short trip to help them get an AMU of their own started. Only 3 months, easy peasy. I then served another 11 years to finish out my 20 years of active service. With my Reserve time that gave me 33 years of total service. While there were hard times to be sure, I wouldn’t change a thing.
In 2006 I met my wonderful wife Samantha. Who by the way is also your High Power Director. She is dedicated to getting that program up and running again!!! Samantha is from Oak Harbor. Since I had dragged her away from her family to Georgia, I promised she could choose where we moved after retirement. So here we are! We are in the middle of having a house built in the Marengo area and it should be completed by April/May.
So, what can you expect in the coming year from your State Association? My big push is to get High Power off the ground, and honestly, we could use your help! As it stands now we only have a few places we can shoot full course matches. We are very open to any suggestions, in or out of the box. While we are working towards getting this program back to life, I promise you there will be complete transparency. Not just with High Power, but with all aspects of ORPA.
I will also be looking at ways to increase membership in our Association. With that I will ask all of you for your help. If you or someone or some business you know has a “thing” that could be given away as a prize, please let me know. My goal is to build a war chest if you will, of prizes to be given away at matches, meetings, whatever. We need more people involved. Right now, we have 2500(ish) members. I’d like to see that number climb by 100 this year. I think we can do that easily if everyone pitches in. To help get people interested in signing up new members and clubs, I’m giving a prize away to the person that signs the most new members or clubs this year! The more things we come up with to give away, the more things we can give away! Right now, I have a few custom knives, Aimpoints, trigger job/gun smithing certificates and a few other things I’ll leave as a surprise! My belief is that we can all work together to help grow our State Association! I’d love for us to be the reason that people move to the state!!
As always please feel free to contact me or any of the Board members to voice your comments or concerns, and especially your ideas to help!! Thanks again and good shooting to you all!
Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association