With shotguns cocked and ammo loaded, about 36 participants shot clay disks and raised money for veterans in North Texas at the nonprofit Cowtown Warriors’ clay shooting tournament Sept. 8.

The second annual clay shooting fundraiser at Defender Outdoors Clay Sports Ranch, 8270 Aledo Road, consisted of eight teams of four. Each person shot 100 disks and tallied how many hits and misses they got on a score page.

The top three most accurate shooters received prizes ranging from a “Best Shooter” belt to fishing poles to custom knives.

The nonprofit, which started as a happy hour group in 2013, has raised more than $2 million since it was founded. The nonprofit receives about 20 applications for assistance per month, said Adam “AK” Rodriguez, the executive director of Cowtown Warriors. 

Rodriguez raised funds to help wounded and disabled veterans with life after service.

“We got mothers with PTSD and postpartum PTSD. That’s two different types of PTSD, and they’re at wit’s end because they need to get their kids fed and they need to get rent paid,” he said.

Cowtown Warriors helps veterans with anything from paying their home utilities and mortgages to purchasing prosthetic limbs, Rodriguez said.

“It’s a whole broad spectrum, and it really just comes down to taking a veteran and making their life suck a little less – whatever that may look like,” Bezan Morris, the treasurer for Cowtown Warriors, said.

Notably, in 2019, the nonprofit gifted a wheelchair accessible van to the last surviving Tuskegee Airman in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Sgt. Homer Hogues.

“I like to say there’s a gap between the veterans who finally reached their limit and the people who are living a good life,” said James Pederson, the president of Cowtown Warriors. “There’s that empty space that not a lot of nonprofits serve, and that’s where we fit the bill.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...