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JBLM paintball team fundraiser

JBLM soldiers on U.S. Army All Stars paintball team

Sgt. Christopher Mooney of the 3-2 SBCT is a member of the U.S. Army All Stars paintball team. Photo courtesy of Sgt. Christopher Mooney

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While the sport of paintball was only invented around 1970, it has rapidly grown in popularity and profile since then, as Sgt. Christopher Mooney of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, can attest.

Mooney and fellow Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier Spc. Lonnie Austin are members of the U.S. Army All Stars paintball team. The team, which began in Korea, is comprised of all active-duty Army servicemembers and its players are spread across bases nationwide. Recently the two JBLM soldiers played in the PSP World Cup and have competed in a variety of other events.

The team's goal is obviously to train hard and win, but also to carry on the legacy of past teams and generate a brotherhood amongst those who play this niche sport.

"I started playing paintball in 2006. My wife and I were at a WalMart and she made the mistake of buying me my first paintball gun," Mooney joked. "Then I just started playing more and more."

Mooney and his All Star teammates planned a worldwide fundraiser for a number of reasons, including promotion of paintball as a sport and demonstrating a positive image for the Army. However, the bottom line is that the fundraiser will benefit the Fisher House Foundation, which has helped active-duty military and veteran families an estimated $192 million in lodging and transportation expenses that they would've spent to travel and stay near a loved one being cared for at a military medical treatment facility.

"They are so important and we want to explain more about what Fisher House does on a whole for the soldiers and their families," he said. "We are proud to be able to help out such a great organization and by extension help our fellow brothers- and sisters-in-arms."

While jerseys have already been sold, the fundraiser hopes to gain traction locally Saturday, Dec. 7, when Mooney and Austin, as well as Fisher House volunteers, will staff an informational booth during the premiere Washington State paintball tournament, also known as NINJABALL. The competition will take place at Operation Paintball, located at 20819 Jansky Rd. E., in Graham. Gates will open at 6:30 a.m. and games will start at 8 a.m. Operation Paintball also always offers a 10 percent military discount on rental packages and paintball cases.

"This is the first tournament where we will be unveiling and presenting the jersey to the paintball community," he said.

During the games on Saturday, the U.S. Army All Stars Jersey will be on display and are priced at $125 a piece, which includes one customized jersey with name and number, as well as domestic shipping costs; international shipping is additional.

"People can also see the jersey in action as both myself and Lonnie will be playing on JBLM Phoenix Paintball Team for the event," Mooney said.

The fundraiser will run through February and orders are collected at the end of every month to be sent out for customization. Turn around, including shipping, is approximately two weeks.

All the proceeds will benefit the Fisher House Foundation. To place an order ahead of time or even after the event, send an email to

Moving forward, Mooney and the Phoenix team are looking to put together a local circuit tournament to raise money specifically for the JBLM Fisher House.

For more information on the U.S. Army All Stars, check out

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