Military personnel and family members invited to retreats at House in the Woods

    LEE — Offering outdoor retreat programs to honors veterans and their families’ sacrifices and assist them in their journey toward healing the mental and physical pain of loss, House in the Woods Inc.: A Military and Family Retreat has offerings during all four seasons. Veterans, active duty military and Gold Star families are invited to participate in many retreats at no cost. Retreats can include hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and bird and moose watching, all making use of the Maine outdoors.

    House in the Woods’ mission is to create a therapeutic, recreational and educational retreat for the nation’s armed forces and their families by using outdoor wilderness activities in Maine to create comfortable and relaxing milieu for veterans, active duty military and their families to come together to share their common challenges which come from the service and sacrifice of protecting the nation’s freedom and cherished democratic ideals.
    A free, outdoor self-help program which remains flexible to the needs of those whom are served, the only expense to participants of House in the Woods is their transportation to the Penobscot County community of Lee. Short-term retreats are formed for participants to meet others with common military-related challenges and experiences. Activities are led by licensed Maine guides and staffed with caring volunteers and assistance from the local Veterans Administration Center and health professionals from the community upon request. Maine is a four season climate, so activities will be dependent on weather and availability.
    House in the Woods is operated by Paul House, the House family and an 11-member board of directors. The father of Sgt. Joel A. House who was killed on June 23, 2007 in Taji, Iraq by a roadside bomb, Paul has spent his life in the Maine woods, first as a woodsman and later as a Registered Maine Master Guide. 
    Shortly after Joel was killed, the House family went to the 1st Cav. Memorial Service at Fort Hood, Texas. While there, Paul experienced first hand the comfort of being around other families who were going through the same loss and grief.  From that moment, Paul knew in his heart that he wanted to start a program using the Maine outdoors as a venue to bring military families together to help one another get through their shared experiences and challenges from service and sacrifice to America’s Armed Forces.
    House in the Woods thanks members of the armed forces. When the country needed them, generations of brave men and women answered the call of duty to serve in the U.S. military. They sacrificed their family time, health, safety and even their lives to protect the country.
    But with the return home, these soldiers bring with them life altering wounds and heartache which only their fellow brothers-in-arms can ever begin to understand. America can never restore what was lost, but at House in the Woods Military and Family Retreat they offer an outdoor retreat program that honors their sacrifice and assists veterans in the journey toward healing the mental and physical pain of loss.
    House in the Woods Military & Family Retreat is located at 2819 Lee Road in Lee. For more information, please contact 738-4421, 570-4806 or e-mail Me_Guide@hotmail.com. House of the Woods’s website is www.houseinthewoods.org — which includes a PayPal link for making financial contributions to the non-profit — and can also be found on Facebook.

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