January 25th, 2016 by Danielle Breteau

SHOT Show 2016 – American Shooting Journal winners

Recapping an excellent trade show

The American Shooting Journal featured a forever-spinning raffle wheel that never stopped during the 2016 SHOT Show. The winners were endless, we couldn’t feature them all.

Brittany Boddington, international huntress phenom and Tom Claycomb, AMSJ survivalist contributor, visiting to sign autographs. 

 

Jose Martinez with The Gunfather and Theresa-min

Louie Tuminaro AKA The Gunfather with veteran Jose Martinez whose image we felt earned the right to adorn the November 2015 veteran’s cover of ASJ and Theresa “T-Bone” Tuminaro grinningly signed autographs.

 

The American Shooting Journal SHOT Show booth was packed throughout the show. The raffle wheel never stopped spinning and shooting out great prizes to winners all day long.

 

Utiliclip

Ulti-Clip was in the house. This little gadget redefines the idea of having a concealed holster and stole the show this year. We were thrilled to partner with them.

 

Savoy Leather

Savoy Leather makes custom leather holsters for all walks of gun toters. This Vietnam vet was thrilled with his loot from the raffle wheel.

Chuck Larson Shyanne fans-min

Chuck Larson, president of Rock River Arms and sponsor for youth shooter Shyanne Roberts  had to have his photo taken with her cover poster. 

Among the great prizes that the raffle wheel spun out, this Cold Steel blade was a treasure.

We armed this dangerous woman with an amazing Hogue hatchet after she presented her GOLDEN TICKET and spun the great prize wheel. Awesome!

Law enforcement officer Joe Gallagher won the Layke Tactical .308 AR, and all thanks to the The Gunfather’s wife Theresa “T-Bone” who spun the wheel for him. Isn’t he thrilled she spun the wheel?

One of our amazing prizes was the sniper crossbow by Mission by Matthews. This winner was stoked.

Robert Bodron, owner and custom gunsmith of Riverdale Custom Shop, won the RTD Arms .308 RT-10. This guy must be related to Grizzly Adams.

 

Troy Rodakowski

Contributor and American Shooting Journal cover star Troy Rodakowski rockin’ the ASJ booth and promoting his awesome duck-hunting image.

 

Pat Surline Inland manufacturing winner-min

Pat Surline, winner of the Inland Manufacturing 1911 and a Kickeez recoil pad. He was so excited that after winning, he walked around the show in a daze.

several people walked away with a new Shooting Chrony – the best device to track your rounds.

Shooting Chrony winner!!!

Shyanne Roberts’ fans who came to have their photo taken in front of her poster.

SHOT Show 2016 – the end. Not a prize left, and what a great show.

 

 

 

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November 11th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Veteran And Triple-amputee Jose Martinez Isn’t Giving Up

Story by Troy Rodakowski • Photographs by Veteran Sportsman Alliance

TOC FEATURE 1 Jose Martinez

Growing up in Compton, Calif., wouldn’t be easy for anyone. This is a part of our country where gang violence and drugs are prevalent and tough to steer clear from. However, for Jose Martinez, living near these negative distractions was a way of life where he did his best to survive and make smart decisions.

PHOTO 2 JOse at the fireplace -minIn an effort to better himself, Martinez enlisted in the US Army to serve our country in Afghanistan. He was in the infantry division and stationed near Kandahar where his unit saw regular action. “There was rarely a mission that we didn’t have a few casualties, or at least get shot at,” says Specialist Martinez a three-year Army infantryman. His plans were to make a career of the military because, among many aspects, he enjoyed the camaraderie, stability and brotherhood it provided.

As a kid, Martinez struggled with his weight and self-esteem, finding it hard to think highly of himself. When he got older and lost weight, he learned to appreciate who he was as a person and stood a little bit taller. Prior to departing for Afghanistan he met a met a very nice lady through friends and they hit it off. After he deployed, he would make a point to contact her after missions, send her flowers on Valentine’s Day and keep in touch regularly. Little did he know that one day she would be his rock, eventually becoming his wife and life partner.

Jose MartinezOn a routine mission Martinez encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) that rendered him unconscious and disfigured his body. The injuries he sustained would change his life forever in so many ways. “When I woke up I was disgusted with myself and my body, just as I had been during my childhood.” The explosion cost him both of his legs and an arm. The doctors had informed him that he would be permanently attached to a wheelchair and would be lucky if he would ever be able to stand for five minutes, let alone walk.

Martinez was determined to prove the doctors wrong and now spends the majority of his time on his prosthetics, regardless of the pain they cause him by constantly breaking skin around his waistline. “This is just a small price I pay to feel somewhat normal,” says Martinez. Learning to love his body has once again become a constant struggle. He is missing limbs and is badly scarred.

Jose Martinez

During the first stages of recovery Martinez was consumed by prescription pills. Often times, he felt using pills would help him sleep and forget that he had lost his arm and both legs. In fact, there were several instances when he tried consuming so many pills in hopes of not waking up. The pills were helping him run away from the reality that was ugly and disgusting. That being said, we are reminded that 22 veterans a day commit suicide, and that most narcotics just numb the pain until the cliff of depression consumes them. Martinez is proud to say he has not taken a pill in well over two years and regularly reminds others that pills are not always the best answer. “If I were still on pills, I’d be in the corner scared to leave my house, and that’s not me,” explains Jose.
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Martinez is thankful to several people who he has encountered during recovery, and helped him defy all odds by learning to walk – he can now truly stand proud. “I have learned to love every part of me all over again,” says Martinez. Venturing out into public for the first few times was difficult, both physically and mentally. When people stared, it was tough for him to ignore the looks. His wife always reminded him that it really didn’t matter what people thought since he wouldn’t be seeing them again anyway. “Having her by my side throughout this entire process has given me a realistic hope in humanity. She has shown me how proud she is and I love standing tall next to her,” explains Martinez.

The Dog Zoey

Family member Zoey

Never forgetting his roots and how tough life was and can be, Martinez now regularly engages in motivational speaking for school kids, veterans and other groups. “I get nervous, my heart races and palms sweat, but before I know it I’m done talking and time has flown by,” says Martinez. He enjoys telling folks that nothing is impossible and that if you put your mind to it, you will be successful! Motivating people brings a huge smile to his face, as he is able to show others that success with anything comes from the inside.

Growing up, Martinez idolized Michael Jordan and owned several pairs of his sneakers, some of which he still wears today. Just as Jordan never gave up, nor has Martinez, and he uses that same outlook to persevere under any circumstances. He understands that there will be setbacks and failures on the journey of life, but remains very determined to defy the odds. “I want kids to grow up and truly believe that they can be what they desire, spark their imagination and inspire them to dream,” says Martinez. Through all of this he remains humble, and says that he is just doing his job by helping others.

Prior to joining the military he had never hunted or fished, let alone fired a rifle. Growing up he always wanted to learn, and appreciated that people could independently feed themselves in these ways. “Hunting and being able to provide for my family seems very American to me,” he says. “I never imagined I’d be capable of, or even have the opportunity to hunt, especially after my injuries.”

Veterans Sportsman Alliance

The VSA warrior shield is presented to every hero who becomes a VSA member.

In August 2013 Martinez was on a diving trip off the Caribbean island of Bonaire when he met a guy named Hugh. Hugh had promised him that he would get him shooting again, so the two exchanged numbers. A couple months later Hugh called and invited Martinez on a pheasant hunt in Sioux Falls, S.D. “Hugh helped me learn how to shoot all over again, and I haven’t stopped hunting ever since. I cannot thank that man enough,” says Jose. Since then he has embarked on several adventures hunting hogs, elk and other critters with assistance from Lonestar Warriors Outdoors and the Veterans Sportsman Alliance, an organization dedicated to wounded veterans and whose motto is, “Benefiting the most worthy among us.” Actually, the VSA has become Martinez’s second family.

Jose Martinez

Jose Martinez took this amazing bull elk in Arizona at the Dunton Ranch North Fort Rock sponsored by the Veterans Sportsman Alliance. His rifle of choice? A Remington 700, 7mm mag, bedded with a floated barrel, Timney trigger, Nightforce Optic and some other secret tweaks built by his friend Robert Wise.

VSA LOGO

Hunting has provided Jose with the motivation to become better at walking so that he will eventually be able to hunt different types of terrain. Being outdoors makes him feel human again. He feels as if he has no wounds, and is part of the natural world without judgement. Martinez is able to push his body to the limit, and challenge himself to walk on his prosthetics, which in turn makes him feel invigorated and free.

Jose Martinez

Jose Martinez has a family, but unlike many, he has a second family and that is the Veterans Sportman Alliance, a group dedicated to veterans and getting them out hunting, fishing and just about any other type of activity that leads to healthy, positive lives.

Jose wants today’s children to understand that hard work does pay off. “If kids just had the opportunities to explore sports like football, basketball, archery, skiing or shooting without worrying about money, that would be amazing,” says Jose. He would love to help organizations that reward kids for making good grades with these sorts of activities. In addition, through motivational speaking he hopes to encourage veterans to be outdoors, enjoy nature and heal emotionally. I asked him if he could say one thing to veterans returning from combat. He replied, “No matter what, you aren’t alone, there are people who truly care for you and will help.”

Jose Martinez is a Purple Heart recipient and modern-day hero. That is truly an inspiration for anyone. He is living proof that the American dream is possible, regardless of one’s disabilities or humble beginnings. ASJ

The Veterans Sportsman Alliance presented Martinez with this S&W 460XVR complete with a 14-inch barrel, muzzle brake, Leupold FX-II Handgun 4x28mm optic and bipod, all built by the Smith & Wesson Performance Center. This hand cannon came with a Sandstorm custom rifle sling and Hornady 460 S&W 200-grain FTX ammunition, and the entire package was customized specifically to fit Martinez and his needs. According to S&W, this gun offers the highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver on earth.

Editor’s note: For more information on the Veterans Sportsman Alliance and what they do for our veterans, or how you can help, visit them at veteransportmanalliance.org. The American Shooting Journal featured jose Martinez on the cover of their November 2015 veteran’s issue. 

Veteran Sportsman Alliance

American Shooting Journal November 2015 Cover






 

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June 12th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Story by Troy Rodakowski • Photographs courtesy of VSA

NEWS Veteran Alliance Troy Rodakowski

Jose Martinez was successful on a recent Veterans Sportsman Alliance-sponsored ram hunt.

“Benefitting the most worthy among us” is the motto of the Veterans Sportsman Alliance, a small nonprofit organization which is a 100-percent volunteer program and operates primarily on donations and sponsorships. Their mission? Get injured and disabled veterans out of their houses and hospitals and into the therapeutic surroundings of  the outdoors. VSA was founded by a family in California, and has recently launched a chapter in Portland, Ore., with plans to expand into Idaho and Arizona in the near future.  “We are a little different than other similar organizations because we not only believe in creating memorable adventures, but we also focus on creating a support network for our veterans by making them a part of our VSA family,” explains Jacqueline Ess, vice president of the Oregon VSA chapter.

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Jose’s 135-mile escort was from the Cal / AZ State Line to the Ranch.

In May, they organized a fishing derby for 18 veterans, had a blood drive, held a raffle and put on a concert, all to help raise money for their cause. Many veterans find immense value through the therapy associated with spending time with other veterans on the water and in the field. It’s invaluable to their recovery and growth.

VSA also recently facilitated two separate hunting trips this spring: a ram hunt for Jose Martinez, who is a triple amputee from combat in Afghanistan; and a hog hunt for a father and son who are both still active in the military.  “The VSA has several more hunts, fishing trips and other events planned for the year, and we look forward to making a difference in the lives of the men and women who have sacrificed so much for us,” says Ess.
For more information on VSA, visit VeteransSportsmanAlliance.org. ASJ

VSA Salute

San Jose Fire Station 9 Union street bridge over hwy 85 for MSG (Ret) John Steinbaugh’s escort and from airport to our hunting ground. Different departments were on six different overpasses put on by San Jose Police and the Patriot Guard Riders. About a 50-mile escort in total.

VSA Alliance

 

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