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.
Words by HFV alumnus Adam Stump
After attending a Huts For Vets trip in late June and early July, I left coming away wondering why years of therapy failed time and time again.
When I returned from deployment in 2011, I went to therapy after having a breakdown. In 2013, it was the same. Both times, I came back from deployment with a heavy heart and mind.
By Mike Greenwood, HFV alumnus, trip leader and co-moderator
Revisiting a painful past is never easy, and often not a good thing. I am a firm believer that we should live our lives focused on the future with the lessons from our past being just that, lessons. Over the past few years, I’ve allowed myself to move further and further into the future and towards the person I want to be when I am eighty-five years old. On September 21st, I was given an opportunity to see the person I am becoming through my own eyes.
by Meghan Counihan
I wished to fight with you “my brothers”,
I served my country but my sacrifice was somehow never your equal.
I weaned my infant from my breast,
a month later I covered them with the same uniform, and my shoulders with the same patches as you and I boarded that white bus.
Before dawn broke, my baby slept, as I slung that M-16 over my shoulder.
She awoke that morning; and her mother was gone.
By Air Force Vet Dannelle Coatney-Reichert – 5th Grade Math teacher, Pasadena, TX
A leap of faith, nervous and anxious I stepped on the plane headed to Colorado. I thought to myself, can I do this, will it hurt? When I arrived I was met with open arms and encouraging words from strangers I had just met. I couldn’t help to wonder what was next.
I sat around the table with warriors from all over the United States. The look of nervousness and insecurity was present and precise. The next morning we packed our gear and loaded up to the trailhead. Why was I going to hike this mountain? Four days without technology or hearing from my family would be torture enough, or so I thought.