The trees hold secrets.
Their roots beneath my feet, beneath the earth. That is where the truth is held. It’s the quiet whispers you can only hear when you stop to stand among the trees, among God’s greatest creation.
What did I see:
Life, death, wind, trees swaying, grinding one another
Death supporting Life, Life supporting Death,
new growth, new beginnings, foliage, earth floor with droppings
brush and flowers, birds, tree breaks, limbs on ground, flies, mosquitoes, ants, and bees
Aspens & Spruce (pine) growing together
untouched, natural, primitive; God’s creation
As beautiful as this last little bit of the hike has been, with the sun peaking its head out between the trees here and there, I see darkness between the tree lines. It made me reflect that it’s okay to head into the darkness. It showed me that as I walk through the beauty around me, I know what awaits in the darkness. I shouldn’t be afraid. What that brings up is that I’ve been in a ton of darkness, and I am not sure if I have ever allowed myself to see the positive of the suffering that has been endured. In some way or fashion, we all have had our onslaught of darkness and a steady variation of victories and defeats.
I am grateful for Huts for Vets.
In the Fall/Winter of 2020, with the country and world dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and all that entails, like many other people, I found my self in a depression. Having Post Traumatic Stress, coupled with the pandemic, I found that the symptoms were exasperated.
I sat on top of Mt. Yekel – by the way, I had the best seat in the house – to see the sea of mountains and nature unfolding. I did some sketching and introspected in my solo experience and I came up with this:
By: Jennifer Patronas, USAF Veteran
Reintegration after a deployment does not end on Homecoming Day. Of course, it is an exciting day to be welcomed home, but is followed by a huge adjustment period for the entire family. Everyone changes after deployment. Everyone has unique experiences, good and bad. New habits are developed, good and bad. But afterwards, everyone must live together again and resume life, but things never go back to the way they were before. A new normal had to be created.
Life Lessons from Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival
When I first pondered Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival, I was sitting in a small discussion circle with fellow combat veterans atop Mt. Yeckel at 11,200 feet above sea level watching a storm huddle over distant peaks.
Huts For Vets helped change a man’s life
By Erik Schlimmer
During the spring of 2019, when I finished my master’s degree in clinical social work and gained my license to practice, I was anxious to get to work. Since therapists had helped me process my own post-military mental health challenges, I returned to school as a nontraditional student to get my degree and license to return the favor. After all, it is always better to give than to receive. Though I was a New Yorker, I sought an employer that was based in the Rocky Mountains, worked with veterans, and embraced wilderness therapy. Huts For Vets checked these three boxes.