By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Author
“He was my good friend. We simply had actually good instances at and touring to and from competitors occasions. When he was wholesome, he was able to go to any match.”
That’s the best way Ken Lore remembers fellow aggressive taking pictures fanatic Ken Lygren. Lore remembers that his comrade cherished going to taking pictures competitions – the firearms, making the rifles carry out to their very own stage of experience. As widespread faces at CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) occasions, the 2 males have been inseparable and earned the nickname “The Kens” out on the vary.
“We have been greatest mates, targeted round taking pictures CMP and NRA,” Lore stated. “Congratulating one another when issues went nicely, and serving to one another after they didn’t.”
Each dwelling in North Carolina, the 2 had shot almost each rifle, Classic Sniper and .22 Rimfire Sporter occasion on the CMP Japanese Video games, held of their dwelling state, since 2010. The pair determined to department out and journey to Ohio in 2012 to compete throughout CMP week on the Camp Perry Nationwide Matches. They finally made it a practice every summer season, firing in such matches because the Nationwide Trophy Particular person, Nationwide Trophy Crew, President’s 100 and Hearst Doubles group match. The lads even journeyed to Alabama to compete within the Talladega 600 and Garand Collectors Affiliation (GCA) occasions at CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park.
Pondering again, Lore says the 2 earned no less than 100 or extra medals between them, with the variety of official CMP matches they shot collectively in extra of that.
“Our plan was after I retired, we’d hit formal matches laborious, hoping to get to Oklahoma and Phoenix as nicely,” Lore stated.
“I retired in July of 2016, and Ken took a tough flip for the more severe at Nationals later that month.”
Earlier than they’d the possibility to appreciate their dream, Ken Lygren, 68, of Crouse, N.C., handed away on Oct. 11, 2017, after a battle with most cancers. Lygren left behind his spouse Deborah, two sons, Kristian (Barbara) Lygren and Erik (Angell) Lygren, in addition to one brother, Steven Lygren, and one sister, Randi Haverstrom. He additionally leaves the entire reminiscences within the minds of these he met throughout his unimaginable time on Earth.
Lygren was born Sept. 6, 1949, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He grew as much as turn into a contractor and served for 32 years within the Huntington Manor Hearth Division the place he was a fireman in addition to the commissioner. Ultimately, he moved to North Carolina to retire and assist his son with a brand new contracting enterprise of his personal.
Whereas in North Carolina, Lygren grew to become a member of the Howards Creek Volunteer Hearth Division and Lincolnton Sportsman Membership and finally joined the Board of Administrators for the Catawba Valley Wildlife Membership, the place he and Lore first met.
Again in 2006, a bunch on the Catawba Valley membership began a CMP chapter, and Lygren was fast to enroll – firing within the very first match. Lore had been a membership member for years however had by no means even heard of the M1 Garand, which is used within the CMP’s main rifle occasion. He went to look at one of many CMP matches on the membership and instantly ordered an M1 that arrived a couple of months later. It was throughout that point he and Lygren grew to become higher acquainted.
Lore noticed Lygren as a New Yorker, or “Yankee” as they’re known as within the south – a straight-talking man who would communicate with honesty, whether or not good, dangerous or detached. Lore was additionally initially from the north and now dwelling in a southern world.
The kinship bonded the boys.
“We sort of hung collectively and took some ribbing from the ‘Southern boys,’” he stated. “We figured, that’s okay, sometime we’ll present them how us ‘Northerners’ can shoot.”
The Kens spent the subsequent few years as “passing mates” on the month-to-month CMP membership matches, banding with each other as they usually acquired playful razzing from the locals.
They spent a lot of their free time collectively. For years, they’d shoot NRA Highpower in Charlotte on the primary Sunday, two membership CMP matches on the second Saturday and a CMP Match or two with M1 for Vets in Statesville, N.C., on the fourth Saturday of the month – all whereas Lore was working 55 hours per week managing a 24/7 manufacturing plant.
“On the firing line, Ken was encouraging. Once I’d pull a foul shot or miss, he’d come again with a constructive spin on it,” Lore stated. “Early on, I’d be prepared to surrender after I screwed up. Ken would all the time say, ‘Don’t stop – don’t stroll off that firing line. End each course of fireside since you’ll be taught one thing.’”
Lore stated Lygren additionally preferred to shoot the fourth relay, all the time, as a result of he preferred to pit first, then rating, then shoot. Lore was completely happy to comply with alongside together with his good friend and all the time hearth in Relay three so that they may very well be squadded collectively on the identical firing level.
As Lore started to spend extra time with Lygren, he discovered that he was lively with the M1 for Vets Program, volunteering and taking pictures with the group. He then realized that a number of guys from the membership have been taking pictures the Japanese CMP Video games at Camp Butner, N.C., together with Lygren, who was once more able to shoot any likelihood he received – even current as a competitor on the inaugural Japanese Video games occasion.
“I didn’t suppose I used to be ok to go, however in 2010, they satisfied me to go,” Lore stated. “Ken was an enormous a part of that, together with his typical ‘You suppose these guys are higher than us?’ statements.”
Along with his appeal, Lygren then talked Lore into registering with him within the Classic Sniper group match. There, on the firing line, is the place Lore says the start of the true friendship occurred.
“I first advised him ‘No, I don’t have a sniper rifle, and I’ve by no means shot 600 yards and even 300, a lot much less with an M1.’ Ken being the constructive man he was advised me to not fear, we’d use his M1, with iron sights, and that he had the zeros for each 300 & 600,” Lore defined. “At that time, I admired him, considering he’d take me alongside although I didn’t know what I used to be doing.”
“I by no means forgot that, and I attempt to pay that again within the years to return,” he confessed.
From there, the boys constantly fired in matches collectively, even incomes a gold medal in Classic Sniper at Japanese Video games in 2015 – certainly one of Lore’s fondest reminiscences.
With Lygren’s declining well being, he wasn’t in a position to shoot in any CMP matches with Lore in 2017, besides one – a Sniper match held early on at their native membership. Lore admitted having to go to Japanese Video games for the primary time with out Ken was “completely different.”
“We had all the time traveled collectively, so it was a little bit of a shock for me,” he stated.
As laborious as he tried, the September 2016 GCA Match and the Talladega 600 have been brutal on Lygren and served as his final moments on the firing line.
“There are a variety of actually good individuals on this sport. The entire time I used to be going to those competitions, Ken needed a obtain of how I did. Right here he’s dying, however he nonetheless needed to listen to concerning the individuals, mates we had made, and the way I did in every match,” Lore recalled.
Lore had been conscious of Lygren’s sickness for a while, studying of his situation after asking the previous contractor for his assistance on an upcoming home undertaking.
“I generally is a bit tough to get to know, however we had beforehand hit it off so nicely on the vary that I requested him to cite some renovations to our dwelling. I knew I might belief Ken to work in our dwelling with out us there, so it was an excellent match,” Lore defined. “When he got here one night to inform us what the associated fee could be, he advised my spouse and I that he had a ‘little bit of an issue,’ but it surely wouldn’t get in the best way of the job.”
The issue was his upcoming remedies and surgical procedure. Although hopeful, Lygren’s analysis apprehensive Lore and introduced up reminiscences from his previous.
“Twenty-five years prior, I had misplaced my earlier greatest good friend to most cancers, so I used to be actually involved for Ken long-term,” he stated. “Ken and my prior good friend might have been brothers, each have been take-charge sort individuals, by no means complaining and saved constructive attitudes.”
By means of the sickness, Lygren and his son have been in a position to full the job on the home, then two extra within the following years. Now, together with his work etched into the bones of the property, Lygren will endlessly be part of Lore’s dwelling.
“Many, many competitor mates requested and stayed in contact about Ken’s well being and supplied help and good needs for Ken, via me, at these occasions,” Lore stated. “Just a few went method out of their method to ensure I competed at my greatest, specifically Steve Cooper (CMP North normal supervisor and Lore’s Sniper teammate rather than Ken at Camp Butner) and JJ O’Shea (of M1 for Vets), together with Amy Cantu (of the CMP) – ensuring I competed at Camp Perry.”
Whereas attending the companies and the funeral with those that knew Lygren greatest, Lore found extra about his taking pictures associate from the various lives he touched. The native hearth division created a formidable and respectful show on the funeral, and Lore discovered his good friend was a real hero – having been credited with single handedly saving three lives when he was a firefighter in New York.
“Over time, all of the hours, days and weeks we traveled and competed 24/7, he by no means talked about that. I love that humility,” Lore stated.
“Identical goes for encouraging me to shoot that first CMP Classic Sniper Match. There have been higher shooters within the membership than me, however he requested me, and we have been the one ones in our membership that shot it for years,” he added.
Practically all of their CMP membership members attended the viewing and funeral. Lore’s competitor mates dwelling in surrounding states have checked in on him to see how he’s doing, which he says he completely appreciates. Nonetheless, he can’t assist however consider the one who’s not round to examine in.
“That appears a bit unusual, as a result of I’m okay – it’s my greatest good friend that suffered and didn’t make it,” he stated.
Going from right here, Lore plans to maintain on taking pictures – dwelling with the reminiscence of the person who received him began with classic rifle competitions within the first place, who cherished each minute he received on the road and who made a major affect on his life alongside the best way.
“Ken was nicely preferred,” Lore stated. “He was a good man that cherished taking pictures and the folks that placed on and ran the matches. He appreciated the ‘away from dwelling’ work the CMP individuals did, with a smile, so we might have an excellent time. He talked of that always.”
“I’ll miss the entire above and extra,” Lore added.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (three) non-profit company. It’s devoted to firearm security and marksmanship coaching and to the promotion of marksmanship competitors for residents of the USA. For extra details about the CMP and its applications, log onto www.TheCMP.org.