Appleseed: year in review.Last year (2009) was the fourth year of Appleseed, a remarkable program with the mission of putting Americans back in touch with traditions which made this country great.
Yes, we teach the traditional skill of firing a rifle with accuracy. We also teach the history and heritage of arguably the most important date in human history: April 19th, 1775. We teach the real history, the story you never heard in school.
We teach it to everyone who comes to Appleseed - oldsters, youngsters, those in-between -because none of them have heard it before - and they need to hear it.
It's part of being American, to know that story.
Some people love it; some seem deaf to its appeal. Just as during the time of the Rev War, when the founders recognized only a minority of the country was pro-Liberty - but they made it happen, anyway.
It's an old fault of humans. People, will, if they can, grab a free lunch at the expense of others. They are quite willing, all too many of them, to let others bear the burden, pay the price. While others fight, some hang back. They hide. They avoid danger.
So the 300,000 Americans who eventually fought the Rev War were fighting not only for their liberty, but the liberty of the other 2,900,000 Americans. Some of whom supported "the Cause", but many of whom, if we are to believe the Founders, did not.
In fact, if Sam Adams was correct in his assessment, 66% of Americans did not support "the Cause", a belief supported by the little-known fact that, in the last days of the Revolution, there were more Americans serving the King than in Washington's Continentals.
But this is a report on Apple-seed in 2009, a year when the program experienced another amazing surge in growth, doubling in size once again; nearly 10,000 Americans were exposed to their history and heritage - while learning to shoot better.
The number of Appleseeds continued what is now a tradition of tripling every year - from the 150+ of 2008 to the more than 450 of 2009. No longer, in most parts of the country, do you have to drive across whole states to find an Appleseed. In fact, it's very likely you have multiple opportunities to attend in your state thruout the year.
Thanks to "the low-tech way of helping Appleseed" - word of mouth - 2009 was the biggest year in the program to date. Prior to 2009, we totaled 7,000 people attending the program; last year, we had nearly 10,000-in one year!
Our Instructor Corps has grown to over six hundred (any number I type is out-of-date almost as soon as I type it) - each of them a standard "off the street" American who couldn't shoot a rifle when he came to Appleseed, but now can not only make hits at 500 yards without sweating it, but teach those skills to others.
Just as in WW2, when people of all ranks stepped forward, when women were building battleships, aircraft and tanks, Americans are stepping up to this program and learning how to do things they never thought they'd be able to do. We seem to be doing a pretty good job of training them, as this recent Appleseeder discovered:
As a firearms instructor myself, I always watch how others teach the gun. To a man (and woman) the Appleseed trainers were patient, sharp-eyed, super-safe, and respectful of all students of all ages. From the technical side, I found their corrections were always on point. - Massad Ayoob, "Appleseed", Backwoods Home Magazine Feb 2010
APRIL: ALL HANDS ON DECK!
It's another Appleseed celebration of April 19th, 1775, and it's coming up, fast, on April 17/18!
Like last year, this year, we're going for another record: More than 100 AS, nationwide - simultaneous, coast-to-coast.
More than 5000 participants, nationwide, from coast-to-coast.
Like last year, we'll stop, all over this country, at the same precise instant - and fire volleys in commemoration of those who died at Lexington, and who died, later that day, along Battle Road.
Think about it!
Think: "I can be part of this!"
Even better: "I can help make this happen!"
By not only signing up to come (rwva.org, click oh "Appleseed", then "schedule, etc), but by "getting the word out to everyone I know" (they'll thank you, the few who realize what an opportunity this is).
And what an event this will be.
Nearly TWICE the people, in ONE WEEKEND, as in the entire first TWO YEARS of Appleseed!
That "doubling each year" we started so long ago, is really starting to kick in, big-time!
Like last year, and prior years, we'll be making the April 19th Appleseeds shoots something special. Special shooting events, special targets, special handouts.
To make a special weekend even more special!
Don't miss this!
Sign up now, for an AS near you that weekend.
No longer do you have to drive a state or two, to find an AS. Likely, there's one right there, in your state, that weekend. Maybe two!
(If not, find a place - a local club, a vacant piece of land - and we'll set one up for you that weekend!)
Become a rifleman. Start on the journey. Become skilled with a rifle. Participate in a tradition. An American Tradition. Find out why marksmanship was so important in our heritage. Find out by hearing the story of April 19, 1775. The story you never heard in school. A story that will likely make the hair on the back of your neck rise. A story which will fill you with pride that you are part of such a nation. A story that will wake you to the pressing need to make sure that tradition is remembered, treasured, preserved - and passed on.
"Bottom line, I could live in the problem or live in the solution. ... I chose the solution, Appleseed." Wade