When veteran rocker and diehard hunter Ted Nugent returned to his home state for a concert tour with REO Speedwagon and Styx, he made a side trip in Grand Rapids to hang out with some important people.
They weren’t celebrities or city officials. Nugent visited Exodus Place, which assists homeless veterans and other men in need working their way back into life after some tough hurdles. For a few hours, Nugent was just one of the guys cutting up, shooting some bows at targets and enjoying the fellowship of a break from the rigors of the concert tour.
Back in February, Exodus Place began offering archery to its visitors as part of the recovery and rehab process. The archery program is aligned with the popular National Archery in Schools Program, which has helped thousands of young student archers compete while learning a lifelong skill that is fun and competitive.
Exodus Place pastor Ray Townsend told MLive.com in this story that the archery program has given the men an extra benefit to their daily routines.
“These men finally have a target in life,” Townsend said in the report. “They can focus on one thing, that bull’s eye. It’s been amazing the change it’s made in their lives.”
Exodus Place helps men get them back on their feet by providing housing, counseling, employment assistance, three meals a day, mentoring, health services, Bible studies, recreational activities and more. The facility promotes “A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out” as a cornerstone of its outreach.
Doug Largent got some one-on-one instruction from Nugent, who hunts several hundred days a year at his home in Texas or wherever he gets the chance.
“You might want to try what’s called the Apache Draw,” Nugent said to Largent. “You put all three fingers under (the arrow) and instead of holding the bow straight up and down you kind of cant the bow at an angle and it opens up the picture a little. It’s what Fred Bear taught me in 1953, I swear to God. It’s the same thing he taught me. I was 5.”
Largent took heed of the advice and improved his proficiency pretty quickly.
“I’m kind of a rookie and Ted came up and gave me some pointers and his pointers worked, of course,” Largent said in the MLive.com report. “He gave me a lot of attention and I really appreciated that.”
Nugent, 64, said his passion for hunting and archery helps keep him grounded, as does meeting with fellow hunters, veterans and others.
“Not a day goes by when I’m not contacted by someone doing something to help the military in their family,” he said. “They call me and say ‘Hey Ted come by this hospital’ or ‘Hey Ted, we’re having a barbecue’ or ‘Hey Ted, we’ve got some machine guns, come shoot up some ammo.’ Now what am I going to do, say no thanks?”
Check out the full story here.