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Building The 21st Century NRA

 
LOD Cover Story

Today’s NRA was built on the backs of the greatest generation: the American heroes who fought and died for our freedom in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those men and women fought their forefathers’ fight. A courageous defense of America’s founding principles: Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. The right to speak, to worship, to assemble. And they did it all with firearms in their hands—testimony to the power and goodwill of a free people.

Those heroes left the battlefield but never the fight. Their voices rang out through every statehouse in America for decades, demanding every office holder recognize and fight for the same freedoms for which their brothers in arms died.

They made the NRA what it is today: the most powerful lobbying organization in the country. They won the respect of American voters, who now view the NRA more positively than either political party. And they won a series of Second Amendment victories that gives every American their rightful firearms freedom.

“The National Rifle Association was founded by military veterans. Today, men and women in uniform are building on that foundation,” said retired U.S. Marine LtCol Oliver North. “And have no doubt, these young Americans are going to leave a legacy for future generations.”

North is one of many veterans who’ve contributed to a brand-new NRA program called NRA Life of Duty, dedicated to serving active-duty military, law enforcement and first responders.

“I signed on with NRA Life of Duty because it was the right thing to do,” said North. “These men and women are the most honorable Americans doing the toughest job. And the NRA’s always going to be first in line to lend defenders of freedom a hand.”

BUILDING TOMORROW’S NRA NRA Life of Duty provides a free NRA membership, along with a host of other benefits, to every active-duty military member, law enforcement officer and first responder who requests one.

“Who better to bring into our ranks than the brave men and women who strap on a firearm every day and go to work defending our freedom?” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “We built the NRA Life of Duty program to make sure they would have a home in our organization. Because if they don’t deserve it, no one does.”

The new program is aimed at the millions of active-duty personnel who identify with the NRA’s mission—many of whom even have parents and grandparents in the organization—but, for whatever reason, have not been able to join.

NRA leaders wanted to ensure that they reach out to these young men and women and engage them in everything the organization is doing for Second Amendment freedom.

“We needed to do everything possible to honor these heroes,” said LaPierre. “We shouldn’t just expect them to join us—we should do everything we can for them, instead.”

NRA Life of Duty works through the generosity of NRA members. When you sponsor a membership for a member of our military, law enforcement or first responders, they receive one full year free of charge. These special memberships include a number of valuable benefits for qualified members: $27,500 in no-cost insurance, deep gear discounts from popular outdoor, hunting and tactical brands, a subscription to the exclusive NRA American Warrior digital magazine and more.

“These men and women are already aligned with our core values,” said LaPierre. “They are the new face of the 21st century NRA and deserve all we can give.”

DEVELOPING THE PROGRAM The NRA’s proud military history dates back to its founding in 1871 by two former Union Army generals. Since then, the NRA has been an outspoken advocate for police officers and uniformed personnel. NRA Life of Duty continues in the tradition of deep respect and gratitude toward our nation’s heroes.

“We did everything possible to ensure that this program would resonate with American servicemen and women,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director. “Before we launched, we shared the concept with a select group of American military heroes. They gave us critical feedback about what they liked and what they thought could be made better. Their voices shaped this program.”

Part of that feedback included requests for new ways that younger, service-minded people could connect and stay involved with the organization. So NRA Life of Duty features a number of new programming ventures—all accessed through an entirely new, cutting-edge online network (NRALifeofDuty.tv presented by Brownells), designed to appeal to a tech-savvy audience.

UNIQUE PROGRAMMING The network’s original programming covers men and women who put their lives on the line every day, telling stories no one else will tell. It’s a vital counterbalance to the negativity, misinformation and neglect typical of conventional media coverage.

These are stories that so often go unnoticed—stories of heroes who do their jobs every day without ever seeking the spotlight.

Patriot Profiles, sponsored by Smith & Wesson, features documentary-style stories unlike anything available on network tv or the movie screen. Honest, real and devoid of manufactured drama, these are some of the most compelling portraits of American heroism ever produced. Recent features include “Protect & Serve,” the story of Los Angeles Police Department officer Randal Simmons, and “Trial by Fire,” an all-access look into America’s only ABET-accredited fire protection and safety technology program, at Oklahoma State University. Other popular features include the critically acclaimed, four-part series ODA 574, featuring interviews with several Green Berets deployed on a seemingly impossible mission in Afghanistan immediately following 9/11.

LtCol Oliver North lends his energy to a range of original content for the network, including Frontlines with LtCol Oliver North, sponsored by FNH USA, an exclusive online series covering military and support personnel deployed in regions all over the world—men and women whose service is too often taken for granted or forgotten altogether. He also provides reports from the field, photos and interviews.

SECURING THE FUTURE Corporate sponsors quickly understood NRA Life of Duty’s important mission and signed on—first Brownells as the presenting sponsor for the entire NRALifeofDuty.tv online network, and then Colt,
Smith & Wesson and FNH USA.

Each of them recognized this unique opportunity to give back to those who defend our nation, while also securing the future of the Second Amendment and the firearm industry.

Thanks to their contributions and the generosity of NRA members, NRA Life of Duty has already provided tens of thousands of NRA memberships to American heroes—men and women who may never have joined the organization otherwise.

“America’s military, law enforcement and first responder personnel are the face of the 21st century NRA,” said Cox. “They will make us a more powerful advocate for Second Amendment freedom than ever before and help ensure the NRA’s future for generations to come.”

NRA Life of Duty members are selfless, intensely patriotic men and women. They are the future leaders of our classrooms, boardrooms and courthouses.

And as support for the program grows, NRA Life of Duty will offer them even more—new programming ventures, membership benefits, opportunities and programs. This is the new face of the NRA, ready to begin the next golden age.