ANNISTON, Ala. - The drawing of the bow, the pressure of the release, the sound of the arrow hitting the target — this routine can calm the minds and bodies of Marines who are part of the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
More than 30 Marines and a sailor, both active duty and veterans, flew to Anniston, Ala., to participate in a four-day beginners archery camp, Dec. 3-7.
“The camp provided wounded, ill and injured Marines the opportunity to train with world-class coaches in top-notch facilities,” Jennifer Sullivan, programs director for the Wounded Warrior Regiment, said.
At the camp Marines learn basic archery fundamentals, shooting approximately eight hours a day. Archery coaches helped fine-tune the participants’ form.
“I have been shooting for almost 11 years,” Cpl. Allen Melick, Wounded Warrior Battalion East, said. “This (camp) has improved me immensely by bringing my groups from a silver dollar size to a quarter.”
Not only does the camp help improve their skills, but it also brought veterans together.
“Coming to this camp means a lot of things, from refreshing my skills in archery, to being around my Marine friends, because I’m not around a Marine installation,” Clayton McDaniel, a Marine Corps veteran, said.
At the end of the camp the participants and the staff ate dinner together. Many of these Marines will continue to train to compete in the Marines Corps trials March 2014, at Camp Pendleton Calif., in hopes for a spot to compete in the 2014 Warrior Games.
“They build camaraderie with each other and support each other upon their return with training tips, encouragement and supporting each other in local and national events,” Sullivan said.