Wounded Warrior Battalion East competes in archery tournament - Camp Lejeune Globe: Sports

Wounded Warrior Battalion East competes in archery tournament

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  • Wounded Warrior Battalion Archery Tournament

    A British Royal Marine, Seb York, releases an arrow at the archery range on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, on April 18. Wounded Warrior Battalion East hosted an archery tournament to compete with the British Royal Marines team.

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:00 am

Adaptive sports serve an important role when it comes to rehabilitation for a successful recovery and transition for wounded, ill and injured Marines, Sailors and veterans at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East (WWBn-E). With archery being available to promote recovery and camaraderie, recovering service members participated in a tournament on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on April 19.

“One of the biggest things that varies for each recovering service member is their injury,” said John Fuller, former archery head coach and retired Marine. “You have to work around the different injuries so that they can get the best results with their ability to shoot.”

Fuller was the head coach for the archery team for more than 60 years. After retiring from the Marine Corps as a first sergeant, he continued volunteering as a coach for the archery team on MCB Camp Lejeune.

“When you see something that they are doing wrong and you correct that deficiency, you see them get excited,” Fuller said. “You see their groupings go from all over the target to the center of the target.”

For recovering service members that have little to no experience, they are put to the test with each new challenge.

“[The battalion staff] announced names for an archery competition last week,” said Staff Sgt. Larry Hite, a recovering service member with WWBn-E. “Archery is something that I have never done before. The closest experience that I have was when I was a kid and I would go into the woods with a stick and a shoe string.”

Hite’s expectations were derived from his best frame of reference — shooting.

“This is just like shooting at the range,” Hite said. “From snapping in, maintaining your composure, getting out of your nervousness and just coming out here to shoot and have fun.”

The archery tournament also had the chance to host the British Royal Marines team to compete against WWBn-E.

“We didn’t expect to shoot well this morning,” said British Royal Marine, Sgt. Maj. Steve Wilson. “But they set us up so brilliantly. The interaction with these (recovering service members) are really funny, humorous and quite friendly.”

Whether recovering service members are participating in sports for the adaptability, or to feel the camaraderie, the mission for WWBn-E will continue focusing on the mind, body, spirit and family of every recovering Marine, Sailor and veteran.

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