ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Big Country Military Combat Veterans was given an opportunity by The Abilene Vet Center and the Abilene Bow Hunter’s Association called “Foam is our Friend.”

The event was a nice break from reality mixed with friendly competition for all branches of the military.

Aside from the competition, archery has given these military vets another shot at coping with PTSD following their time while serving our country.

“The VA Clinic has given me a different platform to help settle all of the noise in my head,” said Manny Rios, U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

U.S. Army Veteran Daniel Winegeart battles with PTSD due to his experiences while on deployment overseas.

Sudden noises remind him of that time. Having gone through many types of treatment, Winegeart explains how using a compound bow vs. a firearm is beneficial for him.

“The only loud thing that you might hear is when the arrow hits the target,” said Winegeart. “Other than that, I mean it’s quiet, so you don’t have to worry about the stress and anxiety of rounds or anything like that going off.”

Marine Vet Manny Rios, who recently retired after almost 24 years, says this archery program has given him a new lease on life.

“There’s no telling where I would be, and they’ve opened up the door and they’ve made it possible for someone like me that didn’t like talking to people, didn’t like opening up,” said Rios. “They made it possible for me to do that.

“I am not so angry. I am not so irritated as much. I’m not about to lose it on, you know, certain situations.”

The Abilene Vet Center has other groups ranging from women of the military group to the life skills PTSD group.