Operation Bugle Boy’s Gold Star Rifle Raffle honors fallen military members, veterans, the community and more.
When several members of Operation Bugle Boy’s advisory board walked out of a movie theater in January 2014, they were moved by what they had witnessed: a movie about Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan and the heroic efforts of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs.
“Shortly after seeing Lone Survivor, I contacted the parents of the three U.S. Navy SEALs killed in action and invited them to be honorary guests at our annual veterans’ dinner and program,” says Chris Jarboe, president of the OBB advisory board.
Coach Pete Adkins and his wife, Lorraine, honorary chairs of the OBB advisory board, are also instrumental with supporting numerous efforts for local veterans. When Adkins learned that the Navy SEALs’ parents were coming, he contacted former Jefferson City High School student Tom Tinnin of A and A Engraving Inc. to see about having a commemorative rifle created and raffled as a way to raise funds for the foundations of the fallen servicemen.
On Dec. 13, 2014, Operation Bugle Boy will raffle off a Gold Star Rifle, an American-made Henry Big Boy 45 Long Colt 24-karat-plated commemorative lever action rifle. “It will honor those heroes and all men and women and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, portray the fighting spirit of the American warrior, represent the patriotic spirit of Jefferson City and mid-Missouri and show our faith in a loving God,” Jarboe says.
The four heroes being depicted on the rifle include the three U.S. Navy SEALs killed in action in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings — Lt. Michael Murphy and Petty Officers Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz Jr. — and local fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Leon Deraps, who was killed in action in Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The rifle to be raffled, “Gun Number 11” (in honor of 9/11), is one of only 101 guns made with the OBB Gold Star engraving. “The process is very detailed,” says Jack Haines, director of sales at A and A Engraving Inc. “It takes nearly 34 people who spend about 28 hours to complete one gun.”
Features of the gun include the names and faces of the four fallen heroes being honored and images of the Jefferson City National Cemetery and the Missouri State Capitol, plus many more special touches. The design is engraved in five distinct tones: 24-karat high-gloss gold, antique gold, high-gloss nickel, antique nickel and black chrome. The rifle comes with a certificate of authenticity, a plaque and a solid oak display case.
From a collector’s standpoint, according to Haines, owning one of the Gold Star rifles is not only a tribute to the military but also an investment. “Everything we do is limited,” Haines says. “The minute a piece sells out, it immediately increases in value by at least 50 percent.”
This particular firearm was chosen specifically because the wooden stocks are Missouri-raised Walnut.
Tinnin says he’s honored to be involved in the OBB project. “I enjoy creating a unique 24-karat design on a firearm that helps organizations raise funds and share their message,” he says. “It is fitting to have a Henry rifle, made from Missouri walnut, associated with this mid-Missouri fundraising project. Missouri pride and tradition are deeply rooted in honoring and showing respect to our military families and their fallen loved ones.”
Proceeds from raffle ticket sales go to the foundations of Lt. Murphy, Petty Officers Axelson and Dietz and Lance Cpl. Deraps. According to Jarboe, the foundations use funds to provide assistance to wounded warriors, scholarships to children of service personnel who were killed in action and at-risk youth. “The foundation for Lance Cpl. Leon Deraps, local marine, is fully devoted to awarding scholarships to deserving graduates from his former high school in Jamestown,” Jarboe says.
To purchase a limited Gold Star Rifle, call Tom Tinnin at 918-457-8400. (A portion of the proceeds from rifle purchases go to Operation Bugle Boy.)
Gold Star Rifle Raffle tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from:
Advanced Chimney Techniques Inc.
American Legion Unit 5
Bob’s Guns & Knives
Central Bank (Jefferson City area)
Home Savings Bank
OBB advisory board members
Samuel’s Tuxedos & Gifts
Schulte’s Fresh Foods
VFW Post 1003
Appliance Parts of Jefferson City
Central Missouri Tires
Corwin Auto Group
Downtown Book & Toy
Joe Machens Capital City Ford Lincoln
Moser’s Discount Foods (Holts Summit)
Riley Auto Group
Turkey Creek Golf Center
Xtreme Body & Paint