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Junior Shooting Sports

Junior Shooting Sports (JSS)

Due to insufficient time at the Mid-Winter Conference on 1/29/22, I will provide this brief regarding my intent! Junior Shooting Sports (JSS) is a small program in The American Legion and does not get the same publicity as other Legion programs.  Unfortunately, there has been no interest for JSS within the 6th District, even though I have provided various articles regarding the "shooting" effort and offered assistance.

An interesting article was recently read, wherein The Department of Veterans Affairs distributes funds raised by the sale of "Support our Troops" license plates. So, this raised some thoughts...as why not expand Legionville for Veterans to apply for these funds??  An email was sent to Commander Jim Lucas and Rick Cross which was forwarded to the MN Department.  Most Districts have considered Legionville as only a 6th District project, but more recently is being considered by all. Also, most consider Legionville as being only a "School Safety Patrol" training!   Understand that Legionville needs to maintain the "educational" aspect to keep the "educational tax status"!  But why not expand Legionville for other functions?  Veterans??

Related to the "educational" aspect, being the 6th District JSS chair, I toured Legionville with Wayne Gilbertson, Rick Cross and Roy Kruger to review potential buildings that may be beneficial for the JSS!  The building on the south, was worthwhile, but it would require substantial funding to become an indoor range.  Roy was a previous Dept JSS chair and was very knowledgeable about the JSS program.  Apparently during that time, the Department was not interested in pursuing the JSS effort. When I was the Dept VC, I filled in for Department Commander Peggy Moon for a Legionville meeting,…I lacked the background knowledge of the problems discussed…however, in my opinion, nothing was discussed related to the future! This JSS "shooting" program at Legionville would be beneficial...under the "educational" aspect…since 'gun safety' would be of value to the students and for continuing this "shooting" effort after their training.

Being familiar with the "shooting" effort at the Anoka Post wherein the MN Centershots team are very successful there.  Several of my 6th District Newsletter articles were related to our Granddaughters effort to illustrate their success, starting with "BB Guns" and progressing into the "Precision" Class.  Our three granddaughters each received a "shooting" scholarship for their respective college and are doing very well with their "shooting" there too. Recently another MN Centershot member received her "shooting" scholarship too!  So there are scholarships available for "shooting" too!  The intent of those articles showing our granddaughters success, was to encourage participation with the JSS.  Interesting that many National College "shooting" records are being made by these later generation of Shooters".  Must assume it comes from their devotion to the sport through their mental attitudes!

There is "shooting" at the Anoka Post on Thursday nights, as well as various matches being held there too.  However, many of the National Matches are held at Camp Perry, Ohio, etc...as there is no range in Minnesota!  So, the MN Centershots (and other JSS teams) must travel to these locations.  Why not have Minnesota JSS location at Legionville??  Having a shooting range at Legionville would be centrally located for ALL Department Posts and could be a successful "educational" program.  Yes, it will take a lot of funding, but if we don't develop a plan now---it never will be achieved!  Mike Maxa, Dept Adjutant, replied to my email: "I like your JSS idea, and I think we should look into it further. Thanks."   So, recommend that the "Long Range Committee" look into this possibility!  

As mentioned, there is no JSS activity ongoing within the 6th District.  Therefore, the 6th District Executive Board should determine if the JSS program should continue within the 6th? However, the 6th District Executive Board should continue to follow-up with the Department Adjutant comments to possibly have a shooting range at Legionville?   Jarod Sturgill is the Department JSS Chair and the Anoka Post Commander.  Hillman Legion Post 602 presented a $1000 check for Legionville at the Mid-Winter Conference.

Any thoughts/comments? Thanks, Mel Buesseler, 6th JSS Chair