Note: This article was originally posted on NRA Blog: http://bit.ly/2nIVSou
USA -(Ammoland.com)- It was half-way through the 2017 SHOT Show. Our feet were screaming at us, so we took a minute to rest on the plush carpet of the NRA Booth, when a man came up to greet us. It’s pretty typical at events, individuals stopping by to ask questions, talk, and sometimes say thanks. This instance was unique. A man approached us and in a timid yet bold way shook our hand to say ‘Thank You’ for supporting our gunsmithing school. He proceeded to tell his story, and we were intrigued. We knew we had to share this story with you, our readers.
This is the story of Wade Wallace. A man with an impressive and expansive curriculum vitae, a man who served and continues to serve our country, a man who took a hobby and turned it into a passion.
I was born and raised in Wadesboro, North Carolina. (I was not named after the town… I was named after my great grandfather). It is a small town….population in the entire county is about 15,000. When I was growing up it was a textile bustling county with several textile plants employing much of the working population. Most of the textile plants closed over 30 years ago, leaving a lot of people out of work. Lots of people moved away or work outside of the county now.
I grew up between the 1960′s and early 1980′s. My dad had me and my older brother working at an early age. I remember working at my dad’s service station starting in the fourth grade. We would get off the bus from school in the afternoons and then hop on our bikes to ride to my dad’s service station. We pumped gas, checked oil, and washed windows. I remember it was years later before I saw self-service gas stations. I worked for my dad until I was in the 10th/11th grade. As soon as I got my driver’s license I took a course to drive a school bus. At that time students drove the school buses where I lived – it was a good part time job. Later, I started working in a grocery store bagging groceries and stocking shelves. My brother got into sports and played football 9th-12th grades. I played in the band and was a good trumpet player. I made All-State band 9th-12thgrades and was #1 in the state for my age group when I was in the 9th grade. I played a little softball for the church league and got into running as I got older. I joined the Navy in the 1980′s, and running became a big part of my work out routine. I competed in a few half marathons, the 27th Marine Corps Marathon, and several 5ks and 8ks.
Growing up, my dad always had guns in the house and I remember him going hunting a lot when I was little. Most guns were locked up, but he did have a pistol handy in the house for emergencies. I remember him coming home from hunting one morning and his rifle went off in the truck in the driveway. It startled everyone where we lived in the city limits. It shot through the floorboard of his truck. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but it was a good reminder to unload when coming out of the woods from hunting.