Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving

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.

Suffice it to say that I was isolating, depressed, avoiding doing much of anything.  Other than being angry or sad, displays of emotion were nonexistent. My nightmares were happening every night.  Things were not good for me as well as the people that I did have contact with.

I knew that I desperately needed to do something, anything, to break out of the cycle I found myself in.  I started looking online at various Veteran Programs.  Unfortunately, many were not in operation at the time due to Covid restrictions.

Thankfully, there was one that was in operation (tentatively).  That was Huts for Vets (HFV).  I wrote them in the Fall/Winter of 2020 and tentatively got accepted for a summer trip (depending on the state of Covid-19 and restrictions).

Because I was at sea level, they suggested that I start training at that time and hooked me up with their wellness and nutrition coach, fellow veteran Chris Joyce.  I was grateful.  I did train.  I totally committed myself to a great cardio training regimen and incorporated some specific core exercises and checked in with my HFV coach frequently.  The training itself was beneficial to my overall mental state.  I had a purpose.  We set attainable goals and I trained.  I am grateful.

On the trip, I met fellow veterans.  I am grateful. It was a natural occurrence. Being with veterans and the staff of HFV, I was made ready to allow myself to emotionally invest in relationships.  There was a special connection with my fellow veterans.  We laughed a lot.  We hiked a lot.  We also just were.  We individually and collectively were a part of our surroundings, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Unplugged from the noise of all electronics.  We often sat together in silence…and were comfortable with that silence.  I am grateful.

After the trip, I have stayed connected with several of my fellow veterans.  They started out as strangers.  They are my friends.  I am alone no more and I am grateful.

Mark Seery
July 2021 Huts for Vets Participant

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