“Not a day goes by when I’m not contacted by someone doing something to help the military in their family,” Nugent 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?”
Ted Nugent, left, shows Doug Largent a different technique for drawing back a bow at Exodus Place in Grand Rapids Tuesday. Largent, a member of the veterans reemergent program at Exodus as well as the assistant chef, said meeting Nugent was a ‘dream come true.’
As soon as Ted Nugent’s trademark camouflage cowboy hat poked into the cafeteria at Exodus Place in Grand Rapids, Doug Largent’s eyes lit up.
Nugent, in town to play a three-pronged rock show at Van Andel Arena with fellow musical veterans REO Speedwagon and Styx, stopped by the facility to shoot bows with the men on their way back into society after struggling with homelessness or prison, many of whom are veterans.
Exodus Place implemented bow and arrow shooting in February sponsored by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), which has brought the men together, providing them with something to focus on, Exodus pastor Ray Townsend said.
“These men finally have a target in life,” Townsend said. “They can focus on one thing, that bullseye. It’s been amazing the change it’s made in their lives.”
That rings true with Largent who was overjoyed when Nugent gave him some one-on-one bow instruction.
“I’ve been a Ted Nugent fan since I was 17 and my first concert was Nugent,” Largent said. “Ted Nugent is such a down-to-earth rock star and so friendly.”