ATLANTA, GA- May 1, 2017– Henry Repeating Arms paid respect to four distinguished Veterans by bestowing American-made Henry Military Service Tribute Rifles to thank them for their service to our country.
The presentation took place on April 27th at the 25th Friends of the NRA Foundation Banquet during The NRA’s 2017 Annual Meetings & Exhibits at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
As a sponsor of the event, Anthony Imperato, President of Henry Repeating Arms, invited the heroes to the stage to thank them for going above and beyond the call of duty. This year’s recipients included 97-year old WWII Veteran George J. Krakosky. “How many of you remember the movie Saving Private Ryan and those vivid images of American soldiers landing on the beaches of France under tremendous enemy fire? For us it was a movie and for our recipient it was reality,” Imperato told the crowd.
Krakosky was drafted in the wake of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and chosen by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to be part of the Army’s top marksmen. He soon found his way on a ship headed toward France, and with the Germans shooting at them before his landing craft could hit the beach he went over the side of the boat and swam to shore. He and what was left of his troop fought their way up the cliffs, past the enemy and on to the battle of St. Lo, France. It was there that after a fierce fight with the Germans he found a metal cross in a blown-up church. He picked up that cross, put it on, and is still wearing it today.
“This man served and fought in a war that saved the world from unspeakable evil. He is one of the last of America’s greatest generation and we owe our freedom to him today,” Imperato said, voice cracking.
His fellow recipients of Henry Military Service Tribute Rifles included:
Linda Becker, who retired from the US Air Force/Air National Guard after 39 years of service that included three overseas tours: Kuwait; Oman; Qatar. In addition she served in the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where she received our fallen military personnel killed overseas and prepared them for the journey home to their final resting place. She received Air National Guard Commendation medals from the states of Indiana and Pennsylvania, and she’s the recipient of the 2010 Air National Guard Senior NCO of the year.
Don Jenkins, a former United States Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Vietnam War, when during firefight in Kien Phong Province he repeatedly exposed himself to extremely heavy hostile fire to engage the enemy, resupply his ammunition, and obtain new weapons. Despite being seriously wounded by shrapnel he made several trips through intense fire across open terrain to rescue other wounded soldiers. Ignoring the continuing fire and his painful wounds, and hindered by darkness, he made 3 trips to the beleaguered unit, each time pulling a wounded comrade back to safety. His extraordinary valor, dedication, and indomitable spirit inspired his fellow soldiers to drive back the attacking enemy and achieve victory.
Ty Carter, a former United States Army Staff Sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient for his actions at the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, when he woke to an attack of 300 enemy fighters on all four sides. Bravely he ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition and remained there to defend his isolated position. Armed with only an M4 carbine rifle, he placed deadly fire on the enemy, preventing the position from being overrun. With disregard for his own safety and in spite of his own wounds, he ran through enemy rocket grenade and machine gun fire to rescue a critically wounded comrade. He saved his comrade’s life by extending first aid and carried the Soldier to cover. He then maneuvered through enemy fire to check on another fallen Soldier and at the same time recovered the squad’s radio, allowing them to coordinate their evacuation. His heroic and selfless actions saved the lives of his fellow Soldiers.
The crowd of 1800 people rose to give multiple standing ovations during the presentation. “Thank You for your service to our country, God Bless You and God Bless the United States of America,” Imperato concluded as the crowd rose to applaud the honorees one last time.
A few days later at NRA Board of Directors Meeting at the Omni Hotel, Board President Allan Cors and Vice President Peter Brownell presented Henry Repeating Arms with the President’s Special Recognition Award. Anthony Imperato, president of Henry Repeating Arms accepted the plaque which reads: Presented by the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA To HENRY REPEATING ARMS In Grateful Appreciation for Distinguished Philanthropic Leadership. NRA Board of Directors Meeting Atlanta, Georgia. May 1st 2017.
Peter Brownell explained the genesis of the award, “As you know there are many individuals and groups that provide the financial resources to help the NRA advance its mission. Today we recognize a great patriot for his distinguished leadership.” He continued, “In the spirits of freedom and solidarity at a historic production Henry Repeating Arms partnered with the NRA to set a world record on November 14th, 2016 with the 1000 Man Shoot. During this unique event, 1000 freedom-loving Americans joined together in Phoenix, Arizona to simultaneously fire 1000 Henry Repeating Arms Golden Boy Silver rifles.” Henry donated the 1000 rifles that were used, and proceeds from the sale of all 1000 rifles were donated to Friends of NRA.
Brownell went on to say, “And if that isn’t enough Henry Repeating Arms is also a sponsor of the NRA Foundation Wall of Guns, the NRA Foundation banquets, NRA Gun Gurus TV and supporting sponsor of NRA All Access.” Henry Repeating Arms also donated 1150 Henry Frontier Rifles to be used at Friends of NRA fundraising events across the country.
“Henry Repeating Arms has proudly supported the NRA for two decades. This combination of cash, gift in kind and sponsorship contributions total over 2.7 million dollars to the NRA.” Brownell told the crowd, “This man holds a healthy respect for the company’s rich history but with an eye for the future. Henry Repeating Arms has the distinction of being one of the top five long gun manufacturers in the United States, and Anthony Imperato is ensuring that Henry Repeating Arms’ name continues to stand at the forefront of history and his generosity and desire to preserve our sacred 2ndAmendment is exemplary.”
Following a round of applause Imperato thanked the Board and all members of the NRA, and told the crowd, “I accept this in memory of my grandfather who got started in the gun business in the police equipment business 100 years ago. And in memory of my father who was a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and promoter of youth shooting sports, I’m thinking of them both this morning. It’s an honor on behalf of Henry Repeating Arms. Thank you.”