St. Petersburg Blind Veteran Competing in Shooting Competition

Posted at 4:51 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 16:51:42-05

It only took a split second for Marine Veteran Michael Jernigan to find his target 50 feet down the range.

“I was just shooting a target, with an AR-15,” he uttered.

Jernigan, blind in both eyes, was able to hit his target with the help of a spotter on the very first shot.

The Iraq War Veteran served in 2004, when he was hit by an IED.

Jernigan lost both eyes along with his frontal cranium — he was hospitalized for more than a year, before extensive therapy.

After years of looking for healing, Jernigan met other blind veterans and began hunting with a non-profit organization based out of Tampa, Black Dagger Military Hunt Club.

Black Dagger Hunt Club provides shooting, hunting, fishing and outdoor opportunities for veterans and active duty military veterans.

Jernigan was able to learn to shoot with his disability with Black Daggers.

“No matter how bad it gets, you can always remember a time when it was worse,” he said.

Jernigan now uses his experience to motivate others by his story, the injured vet, has finished a book called ‘Vision.’ 

Hear his story on his website.

Jernigan will be part of a competitive shooting fundraiser with Black Daggers as part of Military Heroes Top Shot, inspired by the Top Shot series on The History Channel.

20 veterans from the United States and the Tampa VA will compete in five shooting competitions at the Walter C. Heinrich Practical Training Site in Lithia.

The event begins at 9:00 a.m.

You can share Michael’s story on our reporter, Nicole Grigg’s Facebook.