VETS Archery: Leading the Charge for Veterans’ Well-being

In the realm of veterans’ well-being, the journey toward healing often takes unconventional paths. One such path is found in the poised draw of a bow, guided by the steady hand and compassionate heart of Thor Torgersen, co-founder, and lead instructor of Veterans Equine Therapeutic Services (V.E.T.S).

Recently, Thor achieved a significant milestone in his commitment to providing therapeutic avenues for veterans: he has been re-certified as a Level Two Instructor with USA Archery. This certification marks not only his proficiency in the sport but also his unwavering dedication to empowering veterans through archery.

Thor’s journey as an archery instructor began three years ago, and since then, he has left an indelible mark on the lives of over 500 students. Predominantly comprising veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families, Thor’s students find solace, focus, and camaraderie in the art of archery.

The certification process for a Level Two Instructor with USA Archery is rigorous, requiring both in-person and written testing, as well as maintaining training and safe sport certification. Thor’s successful completion of this process underscores his commitment to excellence and safety in teaching this ancient sport.

Thor’s dedication to archery extends far beyond the confines of a shooting range. He travels extensively across the country, hosting clinics that not only showcase the technical aspects of archery but also delve into its meditative and mental health benefits. His goal is not merely to teach archery but to instill in his students a sense of mindfulness, discipline, and inner peace.


The archery program at V.E.T.S. was founded by Thor in 2021, with a vision to integrate it seamlessly into the organization’s life skills program. Drawing inspiration from the curriculum provided by V.E.T.S., Thor tailored the archery program to address the unique needs and challenges faced by veterans and active-duty military personnel.

USA Archery, the governing body for the sport in the United States, has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. Originally known as the National Archery Association, it was rebranded as USA Archery in 1984. Since then, it has played a pivotal role in promoting and developing the sport at all levels, from grassroots to elite competition.

Archery has proven to be a powerful tool in the rehabilitation and recovery of veterans dealing with PTSD and other mental health issues. The focus required to draw a bow, the precision demanded in hitting a target, and the rhythmic breathing inherent in the sport all contribute to a sense of calm and control. Moreover, the camaraderie and support found in archery communities provide vital social connections that are essential for healing and growth.

Thor Torgersen’s tireless efforts in promoting archery as a therapeutic tool for veterans exemplify the transformative potential of sport in healing trauma and fostering resilience. Through his passion, skill, and unwavering dedication, Thor continues to be a beacon of hope for veterans seeking a path toward healing and well-being.

If you are interested in participating in the archery program, please reach out to Thor Torgersen at Programs will be starting in the spring for veterans, active duty service members, and their family members.