Etcetera - 12/14/11

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Wartime veterans and surviving spouses of veterans can learn about little-known benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs' Aid & Attendance program during a free seminar at Park Plaza retirement community, 1400 Dalles Military Road.

Advocate Mahala Murphy-Martin will lead the event, which is open to the community, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Thousands are eligible to receive these tax-free benefits, which can be as much as $1,949 per month (actual amounts are determined by the VA), according to a release from Kandee Jones, Park Plaza co-manager.

To meet eligibility, veterans must have served at least 90 days with one day during a declared war and satisfy certain financial and health requirements, as determined by the VA on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more about the Aid & Attendance benefits program online, see holidaytouch.com/Veterans/aid-attendance-benefits.aspx.

Refreshments will be provided. As space is limited, RSVP to Park Plaza at 509-525-6513.

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Trapshooting's roots stem back to 1750 in England, and by 1831 the sport was inaugurated in America with the Sportsmen's Club of Cincinnati. By the 1840s, sportsmen were competing in the activity. Targets included glass balls, composition clay and live sparrows and pigeons. However, the practice of shooting live birds, such as pigeons, ended in 1902, following national news stories about the slaughter. Trapshooting is one of the three major forms of competitive shotgun shooting at clay pigeon targets. The others are skeet shooting and sporting clays.

A big-time competition will come to Walla Walla next year. Members of the Walla Walla Gun Club are pleased that the Washington State Trapshooting Association selected the club's venue for its 2012 championships, said Bob Bloch, WWGC secretary-treasurer.

The state shoot is the premier event of the yearly trapshooting season, and is the pinnacle where shooters congregate to determine the best of the best for the year, Bob said in a release. Championships will be June 21-24. WWGC expects more than 150 shooters from around the Pacific Northwest to visit Walla Walla and shoot during the event.

While the actual program hasn't been announced yet, multi-day contests are expected in all three trapshooting disciplines: the 16-yard trap, handicap trap and doubles trap. More than 160,000 targets will be shot at during the four days. For more details about the WWGC, contact Bob at 529-7288 or online see wallawallagunclub.org.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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