Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wonderful surprise!

If you haven't read my blog about the sip and puff gun mount then you should check it out before you read this to have a better understanding of how it works. It was very obvious that several people from the police department read my blog about it. Earlier this month, I was invited out to the firing range for a supposed law enforcement Association meeting. I had no idea what was really going on, until I got there. I just want to briefly explain my big surprise and thank everyone that made it happen.

One of my really good friends Zach White asked me if I wanted him to come pick me up and bring me to Oxford one day. I love going to Oxford any chance that I get so I was up for it. For those of you that don't know we both went through the academy together. Zach was also there when I had my accident, and rode with me in the ambulance to the hospital. I told him a while back that I hardly ever got the chance to just ride around Oxford and see everything that has changed. I also found out I was going to get my football season tickets to Ole Miss out at the range that day. I was really excited about picking up my tickets early.

So we make it over to Oxford and we rode around checking out all the new places on the west side of town. I used to work the west side of town so I was really anxious to see all the changes. While we were checking out new places I decided to check out a place called Kinnucan's. I had never been to one before, and the stop came in handy. It was a very hot and humid day at the beginning of August in Mississippi. I could hardly stand to be outside very long that day. So I bought a bandanna with a certain material that helps to keep you cool. By the time we were leaving it was getting time to head out to the range. They were having food and the Association were all there to eat. The firing range is way out in the middle of nowhere in the county ha ha. I kind of wondered why they were meeting up out there, but didn't give it much thought.

We started to pull up to the firing range and I notice a new Mustang pulling in just exactly like the one that Zach had just bought. I just saw it for the first time whenever he picked me up earlier that day. I said to him, who else has a car like yours. He just acted funny and said I don't know. Once we got to the training building I saw my parents getting out of the Mustang. Also, my red Chevrolet pickup that I drove before my injury was pulled in front of the building. My brother was opening the door and getting out of my truck whenever we pulled up. I knew something was up at that moment but I still wasn't sure exactly what it was.  It was a surreal moment seeing my truck parked in the front of the training building again. It brought back some good memories. I thought about being back in school and taking a firearms class one weekend. I also remember being in the classroom learning about our new Glocks after finally getting rid of our Sig 357's. Then we went out to qualify with them. What a smooth transition that turned out to be. If you were there before the transition then you should give another pat on the back to Chief Martin ha ha.

So whenever I made it inside there were several people there that I wasn't even expecting. Katherine Evans was out there, and she was supposed to meet me later to go out to eat in town. So I thought it was funny that she was there. Heather Samuels and her husband Matt were there with their new baby. I was surprised that they were there for just a law Association meeting. So things were adding up in my mind, but I had no idea what exactly was going to happen. Zach disappeared to the back after we got there. So I got something to eat, and my mom fed me. I just ate and didn't even ask what they were doing there. Finally after I finished eating Josh Ivy stood up and started talking. He started saying that everybody knew why we were here, except for me. He said after reading my blog that they did a fundraiser and raised money to purchase a sip and puff gun mount for me. Then Zach came from the back with Hildon and David Sabin (a couple of other good friends of mine that worked with me) with the gun mount. I just couldn't believe they had done that for me. It was the first time in a long time that I've been speechless ha ha. They also had my Glock that I carried on duty to put in the mount. I do have to admit that I started crying for a minute, because it was overwhelming. It just means a lot when you have a lot of people that care about you so much. This was something I wanted for a long time but it was just a little too expensive for me to justify buying it for a while. Like I said in my earlier post about the sip and puff gun mount I got to use one at the Shepherd Center. That really made me want one pretty bad.

So I was the first one heading back out to the range to get set up for me to shoot. I was rolling along with Aric Stratton and I was going full speed ha ha.  I finally got on the new concrete and stopped to face my target while they started to set everything up. This was the first time I was back on the range to shoot since my accident happened over three years ago. Johnny Sneed helped to get everything set up. He actually used his truck to hook up to the battery cables to operate the gun mount. I think what made everything even better was being out on the range with all of the officers that I used to work with again. It was almost like I was qualifying to carry my gun again ha ha. It was finally set up and I went through one magazine. My first couple of shots were a little bit off but I got everything lined up and had a good group. it was just a great day overall. The weather was perfect while I was shooting. It had actually cooled off enough to be able to stand being outside. Everything just seemed to come together great.

My main purpose of this entry was to explain my experience. I also want to thank everyone that was involved with making this happen. If I left your name out it was not intentional. Over the next several days I started to think back about some things that happened. Josh Ivy had contacted me about a month earlier about doing a fundraiser for me. He told me that my blog had inspired just about everyone at the police department. He said that everyone wanted to do something for me. I thought about it for several days and finally told him I couldn't do it. I feel so blessed with everything that I have that I didn't feel like I needed anything else. I felt like everyone had done enough for me right after my injury. So that was one thing that made me cry whenever I got the mount. I was already blessed and I received something without asking for it. It was one of the reasons it was such a big surprise. It showed me how much everyone really thought of me. I also want to thank everyone for reading my blog. I haven't been writing as much lately, but I will try to make up for that. Enjoy the pictures from the day and a couple of videos of me getting to shoot again!

getting everything set up with Elizabeth and her boyfriend Josh in the background and my mom on the right

our temporary battery connection using Johnny's truck

ladies covering their ears already

close up of the jumper cables

lined up on my target

dry firing to test the trigger mechanism with Zach, Sabin, and my dad looking on

Stratton on the right waiting to watch

my good friend Hildon
Zach, Josh, Katherine

my spotter Johnny a.k.a. big sexy

the end result