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Archers Take Aim, Let Fly at Warrior Games

Army veteran Staff Sgt. Billy Meeks congratulates his teammate, Army Spc. Chasity Kuczer, on her win during the archery competition at the 2015 DoD Warrior Games on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 22, 2015. Meeks earned a silver medal in the recurve competition and Kuczer earned the gold medal in the compound. Meeks also earned a gold medal on the Army Team for recurve and Kuczer earned a gold medal on the Army Team for compound. DoD photo by Shannon Collins  

Yesterday’s Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico highlighted the advancements the prehistoric bow and arrow have reached in the 21st century. Today’s bows are finely engineered, laminated and veneered, with some –- called compound bows –- featuring complex wheel-and-pulley systems to control tension on the bowstring. But the challenge remains the same: putting the projectile on target.

Robin Hood’s Merry Men likely pulled oversized English longbows, a deciding factor for the English in some critical battles in the country's history. The warrior-athletes competing at Quantico yesterday fired compound or recurve bows, representing their respective services for medals and bragging rights as the Games entered their fourth day.

Well-Tuned Bows

Army Spc. Chasity Kuczer had a banner day as the first Warrior Games female gold medalist in archery and highest individual scorer in the finals. After the combined women’s and men’s matches, she said the experience was “amazing.”

“I was nervous as first, but I just kept going, and then the better my score was, the more confident I got,” Kuczer said. “I did it one arrow at a time, and doing my best came through.”

Kuczer suffered an injury that left her unable to perform her previous duties, she said, adding, “This is the one thing I can still contribute to the Army, so it’s great to still be able to be a part of the Army. Hearing [the crowd cheering] actually pumped me up. Actually, I kind of relax a little bit more when they do that.”

Individual and team medal winners in archery are listed below:

Compound Individual:

– Chasity Kuczer, Army, gold medal.

– Clayton McDaniel, medically retired Marine, silver.

– Colten Harms, Army, bronze.

Recurve Individual:

– Sean Hook, Army, gold.

– Billy Meeks, silver.

– Jamie Byrd, Coast Guard, bronze.

Team Recurve:

– Army, gold.

– Marines, silver.

– British, bronze.

Team Compound:

– Army, gold.

– Air Force, silver.

– Navy, bronze.

2015 DoD Warrior Games Events

The Games feature eight adaptive sports: archery, cycling, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and wheelchair basketball. Each service will also nominate competitors for the Ultimate Champion, a multi-sport event in which service members and veterans compete against each other in a variety of disciplines.

Wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans qualified for this year’s Games by participating in structured camps, clinics, trials and daily adaptive sports activities nationwide with support from DoD’s Office of Warrior Care Policy'sMilitary Adaptive Sports Program.

Since its inception in 2011, Masp has helped wounded, ill and injured Service members recover and rehabilitate for transition back into their military units or into civilian society.