Western Illinois Militia holds biathlon, picnic

by Captain Dan Shoemaker
Commanding Officer, Western Illinois Militia

The Western Illinois Militia held its 3rd Annual Militia Training Challenge Biathlon recently in rural Henderson County. The event occurred on Sunday, July 18th. The weather was sunny and hot with a 98 degree temperature.

Participants in the Militia Biathlon have the opportunity to run three miles and fire their Militia rifles at a silhouette target for a score.

This year a full rifle squad of militiamen participated in the running event. Captain Dan Shoemaker had the best time running three miles in 26:59.

A full platoon of militiamen participated in the shooting event with a member from McDonough County earning the best score. He scored 107 out of a possible 200 points. Shooters in this event shoot 20 bullets at an invisible scoring area or ''kill zone'' on a man-sized silhouette target at ranges of 100 and 200 yards.

This year both men and women attended and participated at the Militia Biathlon. Counties represented by members in attendance were Henderson, Warren, Knox, Fulton, Tazewell, Bureau, McDonough, and Adams.

Following the Biathlon there was a picnic and later a brief business meeting. Before the Militia was dismissed, all militiamen lined up for an equipment inspection.

Members of the Western Illinois Militia took this opportunity to learn how they and their rifles will function under field conditions in extreme summer weather.

Participation in the Militia Biathlon has steadily grown each year. The first Biathlon saw a small team of members present. A full rifle squad of Militia was present last year. This year out of the larger company unit, a full platoon of militiamen participated.

Other citizens should understand that the Western Illinois Militia is the largest, best-prepared, public access Militia in Illinois. Most other public access Militias in Illinois have been dispersed by agents working for the state and federal governments.

The Western Illinois Militia is preparing to defend the United States Constitution from all enemies. We have a moral code of conduct which works to prohibit us from purposely injuring noncombatants or innocent people. We have both internal and external policies which cause us to be a well-regulated Militia. After four years of existence we continue to desire to be good neighbors. This is not a racist Militia. Membership is open to any sincere Illinois citizen of good character who is at least 18 years old. In the Militia we say:

Death to tyrants

Long live liberty

Long live the Constitution of the United States.

Anyone interested in more information about the Western Illinois Militia is invited to call Dan Shoemaker at (309) 734-7711.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online July 30, 1999

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