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BRCC Hosts 3rd Annual Veteran Adaptive Athlete Shoot in Texas

On April 28, Black Rifle Coffee Company hosted the third annual Veteran Adaptive Athlete Shoot (VAAS) at the BRCC Ranch near San Antonio, Texas. The private, one-day archery event pays tribute to military service members who have been most affected by war and inspires these individuals, regardless of their disabilities, to come out and try something new and challenging together.

 

2022 VAAS
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 

 

This year's event kicked off with a meet-and-greet dinner at The Kendall in Boerne, Texas. VAAS guests were welcomed by BRCC CEO Evan Hafer and co-founders Mat Best, Jarred Taylor, and Richard Ryan. This was also the chance for the adaptive athletes to meet their archery teams for the following day's shoot.

 

2022 VAAS
Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company. 

 

An impressive list of celebrity guests, social media influencers, and BRCC employees participated in this year's event, evenly dispersed into each adaptive athlete's archery group. More than 72 shooters took part in this year's event — the most significant showing at a BRCC veteran-athlete event to date.

 

2022 VAAS
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 

 

This year's VAAS event did not disappoint; it kicked off in epic fashion. The 3D target archery course was a competitive, hunting-related course with 15 life-sized animal foam targets spread out over a 2-mile walking course on uneven terrain. Most of the targets ranged from 20 to 70 yards away, with a chance to test your skills and bragging rights for a Sasquatch-sized target at 100-plus yards.

 

2022 VAAS
Photo courtesy of Black Rifle Coffee Company. 

 

"You guys who have been physically altered by war inspire me to do better," Hafer said. "It's an always and present thought how can I give back, and how can I help out everybody in this community, and it's not coffee. It's just fucking brown caffeinated water. This event is what this thing is all about. Let's turn that stuff into special moments. We connect each other, we bind each other, and we build something incredibly beautiful."

 

2022 VAAS
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog.

 

Although there were many new veteran faces taking part in this year's event, a few familiar athletes from years past were in attendance as well. Paralympic athletes Lia Coryell, Eric "Trainwreck" Burkett, and Jason Tabansky were more than happy to answer any questions shooters had and even help with proper sight-ins before the event. These veteran athletes made sure those new to archery were hitting targets comfortably at various distances, from 20 to 60 yards. And, of course, archery legend John Dudley of Nock On Archery and Sean DeGrey, the founder of the Total Archery Challenge, were on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly, and they played a vital role in the course layout.

 

2022 VAAS
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog.

 

Wisconsin's Veteran of the Year, Ryan Lonergan of the Fragout Podcast, received an honorary invite from BRCC to this year's event. Lonergan served in the Army National Guard for six years, including a tour in Iraq, and was chosen because of his commitment to support veterans as they transition back to civilian life.

"I consider myself a projectile enthusiast," Lonergan said. "I love shooting a bow, and I like shooting big targets at long distances; it's awesome!" And in a twist of fate during the event, Lonergan had the chance to meet Paralympic athlete Lia Coryell, and the two discovered that she had been his high school freshman US history teacher 20 years ago in Wisconsin.

 

2022 VAAS
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 

 

After the event, guests were treated to great food, ice-cold beverages, and live music from country superstar Tim Montana.

The 2022 Veteran Adaptive Athlete Shoot was an epic way to remind these wounded veterans that the entire team at BRCC is forever grateful to those who have served and is honored to get the chance to sling arrows with these American heroes each year.