Task Force Dagger 3-Gun Championship
Organizations Join Forces to Get Wounded Soldiers Out on the Range
3-Gun Nation, NRA and several firearm industry companies came together in support of Task Force Dagger.
By Adam Brown
BLAKELY, GA –The American International Marksmanship Academy (AIM), in partnership with the Task Force Dagger Foundation and 3-Gun Nation, held the inaugural Task Force Dagger 3-Gun Championship here June 16-17. The event served as an opportunity to introduce wounded veterans to the sport of 3-gun as well as celebrate and honor their heroics, evident by the outpouring of support provided by numerous organizations and individuals.
Although new to the 3-Gun scene, the Task Force Dagger Foundation has been in place since 2009 helping soldiers and their families when a valid need is identified. Working as a federally recognized nonprofit foundation ensures that the Foundation is able to send the maximum amount of funds to the soldiers and their families.
Keith David, managing director of Task Force Dagger, emphasized the importance of this type of event on the psyche of our Wounded Warriors.
“They’re being given a chance to do something they’ve never done before,” said Keith David, managing director, Task Force Dagger Foundation. “When these guys are able to do these types of activities or functions it increases their confidence and self-esteem, but the most important thing was—they had fun.”
Members of Task Force Dagger swap stories in the AIM clubhouse following a day of 3-gun competition.
Seeing everyone’s support and just getting an opportunity to help the event in any way was of upmost importance to David.
“I can’t emphasize enough the support that 3-Gun Nation, and Joe DeBergalis at the NRA provided, it’s humbling to have had so much help and I’m just glad to have been a part of it,” said David.
Having fun is a key component to the rehabilitation process for many of these soldiers, according to Joe DeBergalis, NRA Board member and fervent supporter of our troops, especially our Wounded Warriors.
“3-gun is the natural progression of where the shooting sports needed to go, said DeBergalis. “Multi-Gun competition sends the message that it’s okay to go out and have fun with firearms in a safe and very competitive setting.”
3GN Pros Chris Andersen (left) and Dean Deturk were among several Pro Series competitors in the event.
DeBergalis has been instrumental in the NRA’s backing of 3-Gun Nation and fielding of the 3 Gun Nation - Task Force Dagger Wounded Warrior 3-Gun team through tireless efforts to raise funds and secure donations.
“I’m extremely honored to have received the support from all the friends, associates, and business acquaintances connected with this project,” DeBergalis said.
All four members of the 3GN –TFD Wounded Warrior team who comprised this event’s team (Team Members rotate out after each competition to provide an opportunity for another deserving member to compete) had been wounded in action, one of whom received multiple purple hearts from his various deployments. Because the members of the team are all still active duty and fall under the United States Army Special Operation Command mission (USASOC), their full names and units will be protected. Thus, the shooters consisted of Robert, Paul, Mike, and Ethan – none of which had ever done this type of competition before, yet all four finished at or above the middle of the pack, an impressive feat that emphasizes how their military training reinforces accuracy and marksmanship, even if not necessarily the minutia required to excel on a 3-gun stage.
3GN Pro Series competitor Daniel Horner (left) has pledged to serve as match director for next year's event.
Overall, the event, which consisted of 71 shooters over seven stages of fire, required a minimum of 175 rounds pistol, 175 rounds rifle, 80 birdshot and 10 Slugs. The competitors could shoot in either the Tac Irons, Tac Optics, or Open Division, with the overall winner being Daniel Horner of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
3-Gun Nation is proud to have been a part of this great event and would like to thank the 3 Gun Nation - Task Force Dagger team, as well as Joe DeBergalis, Mike Cassidy, Daniel Horner, NRA Sports, DPMS, DSGArms, Mossberg, STI, LaRue Tactical, AR15.com, Armageddon Gear, M.A.D. Hook ups, Leupold, Freedom Munitions, Bushnell Tactical, MagPul and all those who helped support the Wounded Warrior Team. Special thanks go out to Mike Cassidy for working so closely with the Wounded Warrior team in preparation for the event as well as AIM Academy for hosting.
“AIM was phenomenal in support of the event, donating 10% of all their proceeds to the Task Force Dagger Foundation”, said Cassidy. “Everybody wanted to learn, were so gracious, and took the time to build each other up….which was just awesome to see.”
Horner, widely considered the best 3-gunner in the game, has committed to acting as match director for the 2013 event.