A ‘thank you’ to those who serve

With Armed Forces Day next weekend, a local club held an event to honor members of the military.

The Border Brigade Archery Club hosted a military appreciation archery shoot event on Saturday. The shoot is the second event the club has hosted at 7B ranch in Webster City. Members of the military were allowed the use of the club’s 3D archery course for free.

The 3D course consists of 40 targets, with ranges from 10 to 60 yards, and features targets in the shape of animals like deer, lions and bears. The course winds across the ranch, and requires about a two mile hike to get to all of the targets.

Club president Kent Schell invited his brother, Patrick Schell, to be the honored guest at the shoot event. Patrick Schell has served in the Air Force for 38 years and has attained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Kent Schell said he had heard of other archery clubs holding similar events, but his family ties to the military were his true inspiration for the event.

“My driving force is, of course, my brother. He’s my hero,” Kent Schell said.

Patrick Schell, currently based in Georgia, took after his brother by picking up the bow. Before getting into archery, he hunted for many years. He said a few years practicing with a bow has given him a new appreciation for hunting.

“It’s harder than using a gun. Using a bow puts you on a more level playing field with the animal you’re hunting,” Patrick Schell said. “Of course, I just enjoy being outside too.”

The military appreciation shoot also hosted several members of the Border Brigade Archery Club that are members of the military. Kent Schell said that waiving the small registration fee for the shoot was less important than simply taking the time to thank those who have served our country at the event.

“Without them, we can’t live the way we do,” Kent Schell said. “I think it’s imperative we tell them thank you.”

The 7B ranch, which the archery club has worked to renovate since flood damages in years past, also hosted lunch for the shoot participants in the ranch house with burgers on the grill and a space for club members to talk.

“It’s just a good opportunity to get out, shoot your bow, enjoy the weather and spend some time with some other archers,” Kent Schell said.