Monday, December 20, 2010
Keynote Speakers - Tea Party meets "Fred"
Jack believes that 21st-century America is a nation that has lost its roots, often comparing it to a sinking ship. And he aims to change that. Trusting that he would find fellow Americans who hold these same beliefs, Jack created Project Appleseed. Project Appleseed is designed to rouse a sleeping nation to the peril of forgetting its heritage. It does this by waking individual Americans to the history they've never been taught or don't know about, but will want to pass on once they are awakened to it.
What is an Appleseed? On the surface, it’s a two-day rifle marksmanship clinic. But dig a bit deeper and the marksmanship will be revealed as the means to an end; that of conveying important aspects of America’s heritage. About one thousand instructors, all of whom are themselves expert marksmen, frame their teaching by re-telling stories of April 19th, 1775. These stories are really at the heart of an Appleseed.
Why this oral history? Because the events of Lexington and Concord show the way ordinary people risked their freedom and lives to take a stand for liberty and self-government. Because of this, Americans today enjoy an option their colonial ancestors did not fully have. We can change our government and correct the course of our nation through the system the Founders left to us - the power of the vote, the power of the pen, and the power to become a part of the process. But it requires ordinary Americans to appreciate, and then pass on, the values of liberty and self-government won for us by the Founders.
How is Project Appleseed doing? Five years ago Appleseed began with the daunting goal of doubling every year. As Appleseed looks forward to celebrating its fifth birthday this year, it has been able to meet that goal. In 2012 Project Appleseed will have passed on our American heritage to one hundred thousand citizens and in the year 2016, the program’s all-volunteer instructor corps will have taught one million.
Is it possible to keep up with this goal beyond 2016? Absolutely! Every volunteer in this program is dedicated to seeing Project Appleseed double its attendees every year into the far future. And what makes the attainment of this goal possible? Ordinary Americans – your neighbors, friends, family and co-workers – who have made their own decision to break out of their comfort zone, approach fellow Americans, and share with them what makes America the exceptional nation it is.
Jack is a native of North Carolina who has spent significant time in Tennessee and Chicago, IL. He holds a B.S. from North Carolina State University, an M.A. from Vanderbilt University, and a J.D. from Northwestern University, graduating magna cum laude at all three institutions. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1966-1973. Since 1999 he has written as “Fred” in Shotgun News, offering “down home” advice about marksmanship and life in America. As the Executive Director of Project Appleseed, Jack has been interviewed by Fox News and the New York Times Magazine. He currently resides with his wife, Joann, in Ramseur, NC.
(Keynote speaker at Tea Party Convention)