SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - At Camp Perry Monday, sharpshooters and marksmen from across the country will will be in our area for the next month as the 2018 Civilian\ Marksmanship Program National Matches begin.
For the 115th year, the best civilian rifle and pistol marksman will compete for national titles.
The event has become a staple at Ottawa County's Camp Perry. Monday, the event was kicked off with a WWII era bomber performing a flyover and simulated bomb run.
Then an American Flag was delivered via parachute by disabled Veteran and former Golden Knight SGT Dana Bowman. The ceremonial "First Shot" was performed by Major General Clark Lemasters of the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command.
The U.S. army is mandated to assist in these public marksman programs, and this event is the culmination of the years of work and dedication for these skilled sharpshooters.
"It's just a great program that develops. It's not about shooting as it is about developing people with responsibilities, learning how to handle firearms responsibly, and becoming a competitive shooter. And maybe some of them will learn that the army is something that they're interested in," said Lemasters.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program National Matches runs through August 8th.
In addition a historic building at Camp Perry has been fully renovated.
The Hough Theater was one of the first buildings at the U.S. Army base. It was built in 1937 for only 70 thousand dollars, and once hosted a Bob Hope USO tour stop during World War II.
Now as an Army national guard facility, the theater was renovated for $1,6 million.
The modernized theater will host ceremonies for the Civilian Marksmanship Program and will be for the National Guard
"Not only them, but also for the guard. So that way we can do large briefings, and when we need to send out a mass message to a large group of people, we can sit 800 people inside of here, and they can all get that message at on time," said Major Michael Yates with the Ohio Army National Guard.