I want to thank Paul and everyone that helped with getting me the gear needed to shoot my first USPSA match coming in Dec. I am proud to say I am part of a team again and helping others like me in the process.
Corey Wellman- Captain
I have been seeing on my FB feed about how so many nonprofit organizations only give back 20% of the funds that are raised to help what they are promoting. This is so sad…. But I don’t want this to discourage you from giving to great organizations, because they are out there…. And if it is a true, caring, unselfish organization they are not just about the money they raise, but the commitment, trust, honor, and loyalty…. It’s about being a volunteer, a member, a trusting team player! Helping the organization, to be able to help others..
I have seen my organization (Veterans 3 Gun) go above and beyond the standards of what I have ever seen a nonprofit organization do….. This org, has helped individuals, has helped team members, and helped other nonprofit organizations. I can proudly say my org is V3G…….. What’s your organization?
Hello- I am Paul van Oudheusden President and Founder of Veterans 3 Gun Inc.
In October of 2015 I participated in my first 3 gun match, which two of my fellow Ranger instructors had invited me to compete in. It was a blast, even if I didn’t shoot that well. It was an opportunity to connect with them outside of work and have a fun time together.
Then just a month later it happened, on November 25th the day before Thanksgiving, my friend and fellow Ranger Instructor committed suicide. Leaving behind a wife and two small children. It was surreal, when our Company Commander and 1SG told us the news. I expected him to bust through the door and say “got you guys” but that never happened. I had so many question going through my mind. How could a man with so much going for him decide to do this? He was so outgoing, always laughing and joking with everyone at work. Everyone liked hanging out with him. So why would he take his own life?
As I thought about all these questions life continued to go on as it always does in the military. We had a memorial for him, paid our respects and got back to work.
That is when it happened again on January 31of 2016 just a few months later, one of my fellow soldiers from Ft. Stewart committed suicide. He too was married and had two small children. He had only been out of the military for a short amount of time. All those questions came flooding back into my mind.
It was at that point I realized this was a real issue and there had to be something done about it. I remembered talking to my two buddies back at the range after the 3 gun match that they had invited me to, about starting a team, so we could do these types of competitions together all the time.
That is when it came to me, instead of a team I would start an organization that would help all veterans, active duty, reserve, National Guard and from all generations be able to compete in competitive shooting sports not just 3 gun.
We would attend and compete in different matches at different ranges throughout our local area, having a good time getting to talk with one another, building relationships and spread the word about how to prevent veteran suicides.
But I also want to honor my fallen friends and fellow veterans that sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom. That is why every competitor shirt has a name on the back. It is our way of honoring the service members that gave their life so that we can continue to live ours.
What the organization has evolved into is something so much greater then I could have even imagined. Through our resource network and the active Team Captains, Co-Captains and Members we were able to actually prevent veteran suicides. As we continue to grow, having built 11 teams in eight states, we have been able to extend our reach to help more veterans and get them involved in the world of competitive shooting sports. We have provided veterans with help such as access to job assistance, counselors, VA benefits assistance, ammo, equipment, match fees and so much more.
So how is our approach different than other organizations out there raising public awareness about veteran suicides? We operate with “boots on the ground” mentality. We don’t just let the public know about the tragedy that is happening in the veteran community, we actively look to recruit new members. Everyday our team captains, co-captains and members find local resources in their area giving them the ability to immediately respond to a veteran and begin helping them. We are willing to assist all veterans with finding resources even if they are not members of our organization. We are willing to do everything within our means to help them. But we can’t do this alone. We need your support. Through tax-deductible donations, volunteers, local sponsors and community support, you can help provide us the ability to grow and hopefully end this tragedy while giving veterans a positive activity to enjoy.
Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes. That’s 22 families a day that will never be the same.
I created Veterans 3 Gun because I saw the need for veterans to have better access to resources and a reason to connect with other veterans.
Paul van Oudheusden
Veterans 3 Gun Inc.