Huts For Vets – Women’s July Trip, 2021
As we at Huts For Vets enjoy the winter months in Colorado, it’s great to look back at a remarkable wilderness trip that took place last summer. Women Veterans from Colorado, California, Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska headed into the mountains to enjoy friendship, laughter, nature and solitude. We had three returning veterans, Jesse Velasquez, Sara Yoke and Jen Patronas. The support of these peer mentors and the length of military service among the women was reflected in the depth of conversation on the topics of being a woman in the military, and the importance of women veterans writing and sharing their stories.
Huts For Vets – First Men’s Trip of 2021
It’s great to be back up in the mountains! Huts For Vets was delighted to welcome our first 2021 men’s wilderness group in July. Here is a video of our July trip to the Harry Gates Hut and some reflections from our great group of veteran and active duty participants!
Huts For Vets Women’s Wilderness Program June 2021
Huts For Vets was delighted to be back in the mountains after a hiatus due to the COVID pandemic. We headed to the 10th Mountain Gates Hut with our first women’s group of the 2021 season of wilderness programs. Also joining us was returning US Marine Corps veteran Natalie Solano and Huts For Vets psychologist Erin Wilkinson, who was on leave from her current position as psychologist for Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa.
Huts For Vets Qi Gong: Meditative Exercise
On the Huts for Vets trips we practice Qigong in order to revitalize our bodies and harmonize with our surroundings. Typically we practice once or twice a day as a group outside in nature. This video is the exercise series from the trip, in a format that veterans can follow when they are at home. The recommendation is to practice everyday in the morning or evening for a greater feeling of ease and vitality.
Huts For Vets Video Series Part Two – Walking
Enjoy this second video in our Huts For Vets Video Journey Series on the topic of Walking, a major activity that takes place on our wilderness trips! At Huts For Vets we address the Body, Mind and Spirit. “Walking” is the Body. But walking is also a way to process thoughts and ideas. Our veterans walk up these mountain trails together, as a cohesive unit, supporting each other to get up to the hut, because it’s a rigorous hike. After almost 10 miles of walking, there’s a sense of relief and relaxation. But also, a preparedness has occurred, so that, as we get into our readings and discussions during our time in the mountains, thoughts seem more clarified and may be expressed better.
Huts For Vets Video Series Part One
Here is the first of our Huts For Vets Video Journey series which we will be featuring over the next few weeks. Our hearts and thoughts are with you all during these challenging times and we hope these videos will help transport you into the beauty of the mountains, and into the readings and discussions that we have shared over the years. Enjoy this first video as we hear some thoughts from just a few of our veterans as they journey into the mountains.
HFV Alumni Meets 10th Mountain Veteran
Huts for Vets alumni and 10th Mountain Division veteran Mike Greenwood had the pleasure and privilege of meeting with 99 year-old John Tripp, a veteran of the original 10th Mountain Division, the elite ski troop that trained in the mountains of Colorado and fought some of the fiercest battles in Europe during WW2. We will be sharing more excerpts from their conversation, but for now here is a short glimpse into their meeting and John’s thoughts on nature’s capacity to heal.
The Huts For Vets Program
Huts for Vets brings groups of male and female combat veterans and active-duty service members into the Colorado wilderness to share nature, camaraderie and healing.
Increasing studies show that a wilderness setting provides military veterans with a more effective therapy when compared to treatment provided in clinical institutional settings. The groups are typically comprised of veterans from the last three wars – Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait – but have included Vietnam and Korean War veterans as well.
Iraqi War veteran Daniel Coleman, entered the following into the log book at the Margy Hut: “This was my first time in the wild and it was with the best group of veterans I’ve ever been with. Huts for Vets and my fellow warriors saved my life over the last four days together. Finding healing from all the things we’ve experienced could not have happened in a better place.”
Huts For Vets Women’s Program July 2017
Huts For Vets first women’s group of the 2017 season recently headed up to the 10th Mountain Division Margy’s Hut, to spend time in the Colorado wilderness. New to the program this year is an additional day of equine therapy at Smiling Goat Ranch in Carbondale, CO.
Huts For Vets Alumni Program 2017
Here’s a glimpse into a remarkable four days we spent with Huts For Vets Alumni who came back for the 2017 training program in the Colorado wilderness. These incredibly dedicated veterans are taking the next step in their journey of service – learning to lead programs and discussions for fellow veterans both here and in their own communities. Joining us this year was Leigh Hafrey, a professor from MIT, Sloan Business School and a senior moderator at the Aspen Institute. It was great to have Leigh join us for the whole program to give feedback and advice to our participants. We rounded off our time in the mountains with a day of equine therapy at Smiling Goat Ranch in Carbondale, CO.
Huts For Vets Men’s Program August 2017
We had a large group of veterans on our August 2017 trip, all of whom came with a determination to move their lives forward after the experiences from their deployments. We honor them all for their resilience and their courage in making Huts For Vets one of the steps in that journey.
Joining us on this trip as co-leader was Huts For Vets Alumni Mike Greenwood. We were also delighted to have Thomas Prater return this year. Thomas participated in our very first Huts For Vets program in 2013 and this summer brought fellow veterans with him to share the experience of healing in the wilderness. Welcome and thanks to all for a memorable weekend.
Huts For Vets Men’s Program September 2016
Our last Huts For Vets program of 2016 included Huts For Vets Alumni Mike Greenwood of Team Red White and Blue and Alumni Chad Pritchard. Chad brought three fellow army veterans who he served with in Iraq. It’s such a pleasure to have veterans return to our program to help moderate the discussions and talk to veterans new to the program about the benefits of spending time in nature, and healing in the wilderness.