Through the Eyes of a CMP Employee
April 22, 2015Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Through the Eyes of a CMP Employee
As employees of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), we are fortunate to be able to travel the countryside and meet an array of extraordinary people at our many events – some that we are thrilled to see over and over again. We recognize the unique opportunity we are handed, but we don’t often get the chance to express just how grateful we are to be a part of the CMP and your lives.
The following was written by CMP employee Melissa Hille. Melissa can be seen at many CMP events, taking photos behind the firing line as well as helping customers within the sales trailer. Having just returned from the Oklahoma CMP Games, she had the privilege of getting to know a variety of interesting competitors and spectators – as can be guaranteed at any CMP event. It was an experience that nearly brought her to tears – and one she isn’t soon to forget. Here’s her story.
“I recently had the opportunity to travel with the CMP to Edmond, Okla., to help with running the CMP Travel Games. I was excited to see a place I had never been to before and to finally break free of the dreaded Ohio winter to enjoy some fresh air for a week. Little did I know I was actually going to walk away with from the trip with so much more . . .
I really didn’t know what to expect when I arrived on the range, and it was nothing like I pictured. It was so green, and it went on for miles. I have to be honest – I was pretty excited when I saw indoor restrooms, or “flushers” as they called them. The Oklahoma City Gun Club has been hosting the CMP Games for four years now, and I can see why we continue to go back year after year.
The men and women of the OK City Gun Club are some of the nicest, most generous people I have met in a very long time. They really took care of us as if we were close family coming from out of town for a visit. I watched as everyone shared stories of family vacations and photos of how much their kids have grown. The club even cooked us a fantastic steak dinner one night so we could all eat together at the clubhouse.
The matches continued all week through rain, wind and sunshine – and you did not hear one complaint from staff or competitors. We had quite a few new employees sprinkled throughout the range – from sitting in the pits, to calling the match, to being a range safety officer. The competitors seemed so grateful for us coming to them to conduct the matches that I had to sneak around in order to be able to carry boxes to the trailer and take the trash out myself, without someone there to intercept them from me.
As we wrapped up the final day, and I was snapping photos all around me, I became more and more emotional from all of the hugs, handshakes and “thank yous.” I heard several times how much it is appreciated that we leave our families for entire week – words sometimes coming from military people who leave their families for months at a time. That’s when it hit me – this is what makes it all worth it.
I met so many interesting people on this trip: Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and even a gentleman that dressed in 1930s-era attire. I easily could have put together a story about any one of them – okay, maybe not that easily, since I am not a writer (period). I really just wanted to take this opportunity to show how much the competitors mean to the CMP staff. I walked away from the event with such a great feeling of gratitude toward the CMP, competitors, customers and my fellow staff. I am sure I am speaking for the entire CMP staff when I say we cannot wait to return in 2016 for the 5th annual CMP Oklahoma Games.