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Long gun range host Appleseed shoot
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Re-enactors prepare the cannon for firing. - photo by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
Gun enthusiast and history buffs hope they planted a little history and patriotism Saturday and Sunday at the Rye Patch Gun Club.
The even, part of what is called the Appleseed Program, consisted of individuals shooting historical weaponry, learning about history, and a Revolutionary War re-enactment with live cannon fire.
"If I had to sum up what we represent, it would be rifle-toting-history-buffs," said Ron Vandiver, Southeast regimental coordinator for the Revolutionary War Veterans Association.
According to Vandiver, The Appleseed Program is a nationwide organization hoping to educate young people on traditions of rifles and the history of our nation.
"We are teaching young people about what it means to be an American, regarding the Bill of Rights, individual liberties, and the ideals of the American rifleman," he said.
The history buff said that the program was started in 2006 with a membership of 1,000 people.
"We had 1,000 in 2006, 2,000 in 2007, and our goal is to have 4,000 this year. We are trying to double our membership every year," Vandiver said.
This weekend's participants spent the days honing their marksmanship skills in field shooting from kneeling, standing and prone positions at targets simulating 500 yards.
Morgan Boesche, who came down from Savannah brought his daughter Bethany, 15, and sons Micah, 23 and Elijah, 18. All stayed through the two-day event.
This was the third Appleseed event for Elijah and he said, "What is taught here are some of the very important things that everyone needs to know as Americans."
An 18th century dinner was prepared by Deborah and Arthur Edgar for the Saturday evening meal, which included recipes from the past like sausage and apples, fish chowder, wild rice soup, greens, and a hoe-cake. Arthur Edgar is interpretive ranger at Fort Morris State Historic Site.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the Revolutionary re-enactors who demonstrated the firing of flintlock rifles followed by the firing of an 18th century cannon.
Valparaiso, Ind., resident Rusty Asher said, "When I think about how people were willing to start a revolution for the values we have today against the strongest country in the world, I'm still amazed at what took place. This is our history and we need to make sure we pass this on to future generations."
Manager-Member of the Rye Patch Gun Club, Tim Works said, "We have people here from Indiana, Florida and all over the Southeast. An event like this is great for our community because it helps teach our country's history, and it also helps teach those who come into our area about our local history."

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