Another Memory Stirred….

There was a discussion about hunting and guns and I was trying to remember when I first learned to shoot. We did have cap guns and BB guns, but of course those don’t count. Daddy had a .22 rifle and a shotgun. He only hunted small game; birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Well, he did accidentally shoot a racoon one time and I don’t recall if we liked the stew or not. Anyway, I went fishing with him sometimes, but not hunting and that was probably because he was pretty intermittent with when he went.

It seems reasonable he would have taught us to shoot although the most distinct time I recall was going to a range with my uncle and cousins. I was on the ROTC rifle team for like one semester and did attend a match. I was never more than an average shot. As I’ve mentioned before, I was an “inadvertent” pioneer in the Army based on coming in as the Women’s Army Corps was being transitioned out. My first two years it was optional for women to qualify with the M-16 and .45 pistol. I didn’t hesitate even though a couple of my classmates chose to not fire a weapon. In light of the fact I went into the Ordnance Corps and weapons repair from small arms to artillery was part of our mission, we did of course have to fire as well as learn to repair them. Now when I say, “repair”, what that actually meant for an officer was to get a fundamental lesson in breaking down the weapon to see the parts and learn the most ordinary kind of failures. That was for pistols through machine guns and yes, firing an M60 and a .50 cal was an interesting experience. I had some difficulty with the Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW) because my hands are small and the hand strength required to hold and fire was designed for the average-size male.

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