When it comes to support for veterans, there are many different organizations and programs available to provide help for PTSD and other mental and emotional trauma. Add to that, support programs and therapy for physical losses as well.
Veterans surrounded by other veterans help them to make adjustments to their new life situations with these forms of trauma through building camaraderie and connecting through similar experiences. When you are simply around other veterans you just have this sense of communication and brotherhood.
However, finding veterans to practice archery as a group helps with this even more and allows veterans to surround themselves with individuals with similar stories and experiences. Even those who have suffered physical loss.
The focus archery provides helps veterans recover from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), and readjust to civilian life. It sharpens the mind by thinking about the shot process and the steps to a good shot, plus it strengthens the body as there is some physical ability involved to be steady and pull back the bowstring. Concentration to zero in on a small object like a target focuses attention and minimizes distractions.
Archery requires many attributes that veterans were conditioned for. The demands, such as discipline, focus, frequent training, fitness and clarity of the mind for absolute situational awareness are just some of those similar necessities. However, the difference with archery, the mission is all personal and internal and the objective is to aim and hit the bull’s eye using those same demands.
As the archer develops their skills, the desire to succeed takes hold and the lifelong journey into the sport begins.
Veterans were used to physically and emotionally demanding training, so incorporating a sport into their routines to maintain the focus and skill they were conditioned for helps the transition from combat to everyday life a little smoother.
When you’re in the thought of making that shot, you’re so focused on that. It’s calming. It takes your mind off everything else. It’s an amazing thing. It’s simply you, your bow, the arrow, and your target. Being focused in the whole shot process and everything you can feel that makes that great shot also makes the mind cancel out everything else. This is part of what makes archery great therapy. When you start to feel anxious, you can literally watch your sight pin bounce up and down as your heartbeat increases, so it makes you learn how to calm down and breathe.
No matter the program out there, sometimes the best therapy or counseling comes in the form of a bow and arrow.
Veterans can build new friendships, help each other, enjoy archery’s therapeutic features, and introduce new veteran comrades to the sport at The Archery Place in Montgomery for a special monthly veteran’s free range access every 4th Tuesday of the month starting April 23rd from 4pm to 9pm.
The Archery Place, LLC
1725-B Crescent Lake Dr.
Montgomery, IL 60538