By SAMANTHA HEARN
Over the weekend more than 30 people from all over the world participated locally in the Navy SEALs and Life of Valor “Warrior Weekend,” a three-day special training session that raised money for the nonprofit.
Donors to the program learned tactical shooting, tactical driving and were on hand for a tailgate and to witness Navy SEALs skydive into Sunday’s Titans game.
Life of Valor is a nonprofit men’s ministry that spreads Christianity through events like Warrior Weekend. The event was also partnered with Mission Force, a veterans program that helps military members adjust to life back home after deployment.
On Saturday the participants did a tactical shooting course at Stillhouse Hollow in Franklin where they learned to shoot like a Navy SEAL. Participants learned the safe function of basic handgun and rifle firing, progressing to tactical reloads and drills, shooting and moving, and transition shooting from a rifle to a handgun.
“This has been a perfect weekend for me,” participant Darin Scott, from Williamson County, said. “I’m a firm believer in helping those who serve our country and will do anything to help. It’s been a great experience but also a challenge.”
Participants weren’t just limited to Williamson County residents, however. A group of four traveled all the way from Mexico to participate in the event.
“It’s my first experience with the military,” Alejandro Lopez-Tello, from Mexico City, said. “They make you feel very secure in the training and it pushes you to the limit. I can’t wait to take what we’ve learned back to Mexico to share with our community. I think it’s building a strong relationship between people in Mexico and the military here. The interactions have been profound.”
Veronica Rodriguez, from Guadalajara, Mexico, said that the experience has been educational and inspiring.
“You never know when you might need to know these things,” she said. “It has been a tremendous experience learning from the Navy SEALs and I can’t wait to add these too my daily life in Mexico. I’ve learned a lot about security.”
Participants were also from all over the United States.
“It’s not just about tactical driving and shooting,” St. Louis participant Hanso Legend said. “It’s about the bigger message. There’s so much that these SEALs do for us that we don’t know about, and to experience it like this and learn directly from them is incredible.”
Money raised from participants in the Warrior Weekend all go to Mission Force and Life of Valor. For more information, visit www.lifeofvalor.com.
Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @samanthahearn.