Above: Bill Koch and Will Webb of Still Serving Veterans stand with Jean van Oppen and the Alabama Bicentennial Rifle.
Recognizing History, Craftsmanship and Veterans All On One Product
The state of Alabama is celebrating 200 years of history and achievements in 2019. Throughout the state, you will find celebrations of icons, achievements and people that have bolstered the values of Alabama. From the beginning, Alabama has marked up the history books and continues to do so. This anniversary has captured the imagination of an employee at Wellington LTD and has produced a limited edition firearm specifically for Alabama. “Just as history gets passed on to the next generation, so will these firearms”, states Jean van Oppen who leads this project. “This anniversary is a milestone for the state of Alabama and we want the residents to have a tangible piece of it”. The rifle is ornately engraved with key images that represent Alabama.
There will only be 67 rifles made in the entire edition, which is based on the number of counties of Alabama. But they did not stop there. They wanted to make sure that a portion of each sale went back into Alabama. Enter the Alabama based non-profit organization called Still Serving Veterans. This non-profit organization seeks to secure veterans, their families, members of the Guard and reserves, back into the work force. Since 2006, they have empowered 67,000 veterans to secure meaningful employment or the Veteran benefits they have earned.
When asked why Wellington LTD chose this organization it led to a memory. Jean van Oppen had a personal tie to a Veteran who was struggling to find work. “This man was a Purple Heart Recipient and could not find a meaningful job. I referred him to my boss at the time and urged them to hire him. He now manages the entire production for that company”. Realizing that this problem was probably occurring with other veterans, van Oppen chose to help veterans by directly donating to this Alabama based group. For every rifle sold, Wellington LTD has pledged a donation. You too can support this group by visiting www.ssv.org and if you seek to own a piece of Alabama history, contact Wellington LTD at www.wellingtonltd.com.