Archery coach stays on target by helping veterans, disabled athletes hit their mark

Earl Brown served in the Navy and the Army for a combined 26 and a half years and when he whistles twice the arrows are going to fly. 

"I got into archery about 10 years ago," Brown said. "One of my platoon sergeants introduced me to it. And I fell in love with it."

Earl loved it so much, he got his entire family into it. Including his son.

"My son suffers from right hemiparesis, he suffered a stroke before he was born," Brown explained. "So I taught him how to bite onto the string with a leather strap, and he shoots with one arm."

Brown discovered he not only loved archery but loved teaching it to others, especially those with disabilities. 

 "I started volunteering right away. Got certified as a Level 2 archery certified coach with USA Archery," Brown explained.

Every Friday morning, from 8:30-10:30 a.m., you can find Brown outside of All People’s Life Center off Sligh Avenue, sharing his love of archery. 

"All People’s Life Center provides an opportunity for veterans to come out and shoot, also our athletes, our disabled athlete's program," Brown shared. "This is an archery program that’s designed for them.

And while it was started for veterans, they’ve since opened it up to everybody. Just show up Friday morning, pick up a bow and give it a shot. 

"It requires a lot of patience and discipline. It’s really a martial art. You have to hone your skills," Brown said."One of our athletes, she’s been in the program for 18 years. She shot this target at 60 yards. And initially, she wasn’t able to pull back a bow. But we get our athletes where they are comfortable at their level. From 15 yards out to 60."

He added, "I really love seeing one of my athletes when they were never even able to get the arrow to arc and into the target, we ended up finding a lot of arrows in the dirt, and when my athletes get to the point where they are comfortable enough that they can put rounds on target, and then the bullseyes, that warms my heart. It’s awesome."


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