MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The bow and arrow was invented by man more than 10,000 years ago for used in warfare and hunting. These crafted arms are still used by modern warriors, and the sport offers more than just a recreational activity.
Marines with Wounded Warrior Battalion-East and -West practiced honing their archery skills during the Wounded Warrior Regiment Archery Camp aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Aug. 20 through 25.
Approximately 40 wounded warriors participated in the week-long camp where coaches assisted in improving and refining their shooting techniques.
“I love this sport,” Sgt. Michael Deyoung, a Marine with WWBn-West. “Getting these helpful hints is great. It’s a great way to relax and have fun. I’ve been using bows and arrows for more than 10 years. I’m an avid bow hunter. This was my first (Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program) event, and I love it.”
The camp is a component of Wounded Warrior Regiment’s WAR program, which helps the service members build confidence in their abilities.
“(Archery) is a good extracurricular activity, and it’s a good thing to get involved in,” said Sgt. Steven Joseph Keyes, a Marine with WWB-East.
Keyes said he was taught to quiet his mind during archery and focus on hitting the target. He tries to apply this mindset to his work environment by tackling challenges and goals one at a time.
The last day of the camp was the culmination point where the Marines put their practice and training to the test during an archery competition.
Karry Rogers, the officer in charge of the camp with the WAR program, said they host about eight camps a year, which includes events such as swimming and track and field, to help Marines transition back into their regular lives.
“This builds camaraderie for them and gets them outside their element,” said Rogers. “It’s a great opportunity for them to do something different. Our mission is to serve the wounded, ill and injured Marines.”
The camp also assists in preparation for future events such as the Marine Corps Trials or Warrior Games, which are competitive events that incorporate archery, said Jennifer Sullivan, the WAR program manager.
For more information about the Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program visit www.woundedwarriorregiment.org/warriorgames.aspx or email WWSports@USMC.mil.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment visit www.woundedwarriorregiment.org, contact the Warrior Call Center 24/7 at (877) 487-6299 or visit http://Facebook.com/wwr.usmc.