Fresno's Break the Barriers program has vets aiming for success

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Some local veterans are learning life changing skills while picking up a bow and arrow as members of Fresno's Break the Barriers. (KFSN)

Some local veterans are learning life-changing skills while picking up a bow and arrow as members of Fresno's Break the Barriers.

Vets with various skills levels are gearing up as they have their sights set on on a big target this weekend to compete against the world's best in Las Vegas.

Fresno's Break the Barriers will bring 28 area veterans to Sin City for the international shoot, think Super Bowl for archery.

Tyler Hergenrader with Break the Barriers said, "We've seen this tournament in itself change a lot of lives for veterans and get them interested in the sport of archery. And picking it up as a hobby and then competing the rest of the year."

According to competitors we spoke to the program has helped give them a new lease on life.

Army veteran Jennifer Lewis says it's not just about bulleyes and bows -- the sport of archery has allowed her to socially connect with people again after years of struggling to adapt to civilian life.

"It's life-changing, I isolated for years with my PTSD I didn't go out unless I had to go to the store or something like that," Lewis said. "Having this program to come to every day gives me someplace to go so I have someplace to look forward to when I wake up."

It is Jennifer's second year competing in Las Vegas but for Vietnam Vet Al Raymundo this will be his first time representing Fresno at the international shoot.

"I'm not nervous, it's just shooting at the target is what I'm trying to do," Raymundo said.

And helping veterans regain a little piece of their life back is what Break the Barriers is trying to do, one arrow at a time

The Break the Barriers archery team leaves Thursday with competition set for Friday morning in Las Vegas.
Related Topics:
community-eventsPTSDarmyveteransnonprofitFresno - Northeast
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