By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionJanuary 9, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. - Brain Surgery. Just the words would make one shudder. The uneasy feeling of having seizures and learning you have a mass in the frontal lobe of your brain is something Sgt. Aaron Averre won't soon forget. How do you return to duty after that? Averre valiantly shared his journey through brain surgery and the miracle of life in the article "Miracles Do Happen" (published here on December 12, 2017) and talked of seeing a silver lining in this cloud of adversity he didn't ask for. Now, further along on the road to recovery, Averre has set his "sights" on a variety of adaptive reconditioning activities, particularly air rifle. No brain surgery with these activities could keep this soldier from returning to duty, because he will.
An Air Gun Series by USA Veterans Outreach Program invited Soldiers from Fort Bragg Warrior Transition Battalion to an air rifle event to work with them, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Officer Training Center and Fayetteville Parks and Recreation. The event was not only fun, it was therapeutic.
"I chose [air rifle] to aid in my neuro-visual therapy. Shooting a rifle is very familiar to me, but my eyesight and coordination isn't what it used to be. This event provided a low stress environment, friendly competition, and they also bought lunch," Averre said.
The event helped Averre become very proficient at air rifle. He credits Jeremy Mincey from Fayetteville Parks and Recreation who assisted veterans and Soldiers involved with adaptive reconditioning with helping him improve.
The chemical biological radiological and nuclear specialist will return to duty at Ft. Bragg and plans to serve in the Army for as long as he is capable. As he takes aim at his future, Averre acknowledges and appreciates the Army's resources that the WTB has provided him. They helped him with readiness and introduced him to adaptive reconditioning.
"I was surprised this resource working with an air rifle was even available. It takes an incredible amount of coordination, equipment/resources and I am very thankful for the opportunity to participate."