BY SHERI TRUSTY, CMP REPORTER
When Max Soviak’s family entered Camp Perry for the Max Soviak National CMP Rimfire Sporter Match recently, they were flooded with memories of long ago matches they competed in as a family. Max was a skilled and enthusiast marksman, and he and his family spent countless hours shooting inside the Gary Anderson Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Competition Center and outside on the Camp Perry ranges.
On Aug. 26, 2021, Soviak, a Navy Corpsman, was killed by a suicide bomber while assisting evacuees in Kabul, Afghanistan. This year, the CMP paid homage to his service, sacrifice and memory by naming the annual CMP Rimfire Sporter Match in his honor.
About 240 marksmen competed in the match. Among them were his father, Kip Soviak, two siblings and a brother-in-law. It was an emotional day for the family.
“It was a lot today,” Kip said. “This place has always meant a lot to us. It felt like coming home.
“This was our family time, not just being here, but practicing before the matches and then coming here to compete,” said Max’s mother, Rachel. “We’d pack lunches and sit around the tent together. Our kids have a lot of memories of this place, and it stirred the memories up for them.”
Amongst the sounds of shots flying down range and the laughter of families competing together, Max’s memory became a little more tangible.
“The kids said they felt good coming back, and they want to keep coming back,” Kip said.
During the rimfire match, the Soviaks shared information about the Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak Memorial Foundation, which provides adventures, experiences and resources to veterans and their families so they can “Live Life to the MAX.” Kip and Rachel established the foundation to honor Max after his death.
For information on receiving assistance or nominating a veteran, visit www.maxtonsoviak.org.
The Rimfire Sporter Match is a lighthearted, kid-friendly match that is more about camaraderie than competition.
“You can grab a .22 out of your closet to shoot,” said CMP Competition Manager and HR Specialist, Shannon Hand. “It’s at a National Level, but it’s fun and very family-oriented.”
Winners of the Max Soviak National CMP Rimfire Sporter Match were
O-Class and T-Class Champion Steven Slee of Dimondale, Mich. and TU-Class Champion Rachel Jones of Merritt Island, Fla. View full results at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&tab=results&match=24463.