Local sportsmen clubs host Veteran’s Appreciation Day in Kinderhook

KINDERHOOK – The combined efforts of the Columbia County Sportsmen’s Association, the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club (KSC) and the Tri-Village Rod and Gun Club brought the Veteran’s Appreciation Day to the Kinderhook on Saturday, April 29. Activities included archery, skeet shooting, rifle and pistol shooting, fishing and an afternoon barbecue. Twenty-four veterans from six counties attended, including one man from Queens.

Vinnie DuBois, who is a member of the Columbia County Sportsmen’s Federation, helped with logistics. Also a member of the Columbia Greene Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Mr. DuBois had facilitated the Livingston Manor edition of Project Healing Waters, a fly fishing event for veterans, and it was through his efforts that the annual turkey hunt for veterans known as Project Longbeard was started five years ago. Additionally, he created the first of what is to become an annual pheasant hunt for veterans known as Project Ringneck. So when Tammy Houser of the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club wanted to start a veteran’s event, she went to Mr. DuBois for organizational assistance. Tracy Knott of the Tri-Village Rod and Gun Club contributed resources of her club, and thus the first KSC Veteran’s Appreciation Day was a success.

Veterans from all over the state attended a Veteran’s Appreciation Day on April 29 at the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club. Photo by David Lee

Chris Akers, one of the chefs for the barbecue underlined the collaborative nature of the event. “It’s a big partnership with a lot of individuals who donate their time,” he said.

The pig roast was done by Dave Newkirk at the KSC. A group of Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts from Troop 113 kept the wheels turning. Each scout was assigned to a veteran to make sure that his needs for the afternoon were met.

Norm Friedman came from Kingston for the event. He learned about it through the Albany VA. Speaking about the stated goal of the event to show appreciation for the sacrifice of veterans, he said, “Where I grew up, [military service] was the thing to do. I was in the 101st Airborne in 1969 and in Vietnam in 1970-71. When I came back, I wasn’t treated with respect at all. In the last 20 years things have gotten better.”

“I get together with other veterans,” he said. “We have that same thing in common. I got to use my pistol which I never get to do. And I tried trap shooting for the first time.”

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