On this day (May 23rd), 101 years ago my maternal grandpatents, Joseph Chapple and Estella Smith were married by Justice of the Peace, Leon Lush, in Houston, Harris County, Texas.
If I tell you that some really cool treasures from my father’s military days just keep showing up all around me, you better believe it! So what did I discover new about him this time? He was awarded the Marksmanship – Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle Badge – while he was a soldier in the Army from 1945-1947. How do I know this? I am in possession of his badge! Where did this badge come from? From my mom. Where did she get it? Are you ready for this? She found it on a shelf in the garage and thought it looked like something that I would be interested in.
Say what?! On a shelf in the garage?!
Okay folks, how many times did I go rummaging around on the shelves in the garage last year?! LOTS! Why didn’t I ever see this badge?! I don’t have the foggiest idea. But once I picked myself up off the floor after discovering where this badge has been all this time, I am so-o-o-o THRILLED to be able to add it to dad’s memorial flag showcase!
According to Wikipedia,
The United States Army awarded Marksmanship Qualification Badges to military personnel who qualify at three different qualification levels (highest to lowest): Expert, Sharpshooter, and Marksman. Suspended from the badge are Army Weapon Qualification Clasps that indicate the type of weapon the individual has qualified to use.” 
My father’s Sharpshooter Small Bore Rifle badge above is a one inch silver filled metal consisting of a cross pattée (a type of cross seen in early medieval art and on the crowns of monarchs). At the center of the cross is a target and extended at the bottom of the badge is a bar with the inscription “SMALL BORE RIFLE” which he was authorized to display. 
My dad a Sharpshooter?! Who knew?!
Well it seems my brothers knew! Even though both of them never saw this badge, they did know dad was a Sharpshooter and talked proudly about his knowledge and expertise with a variety of weapons. Why am I the last one in the family to learn about this? I simply do not know. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the baby of the family– you miss out on all the good stuff — LOL! But I am the first of the siblings to see and have possession of this wonderful treasure!
Have some weaponry Experts, Sharpshooters, or Marksmen in your family tree? Feel free to share!
1. Foundation, W. (2013, March 03). Marksmanship Badge (United States). Wikipedia. Retrieved March 03, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marksmanship_Badge_(United_States)
2. Foundation, W. (2013, February 25). Cross pattée. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_pattée
3. Powers, R. (n.d.). United States Army Badges: Weapons qualification. United States Army Badges: Weapons Qualifications. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/arbadges/blqualif.htm