House in the Woods Hosts Female Veterans for Inaugural Bird Hunt

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LEE, Maine (WABI) - A non-profit in Lee has been providing veterans from across the country with a therapeutic, recreational and educational retreat for nearly 17 years.

But Tuesday was a first for House in the Woods, hosting a group of female veterans for a bird hunt.

We followed along.

A sexual assault response coordinator. An Olympian. An intelligence analyst and a National Guard recruiter.

Female veterans from all walks of life, finding a common bond in the woods of Lee.

"This is my first time bird hunting. It's my first time hunting period."

"Quite an experience getting out there and learning how things work and watching how the dogs work."

"I haven't often had the opportunity to connect with a group of women who have been through similar situations and know exactly where I'm coming from."

"We bond quickly."

"We talk about Mom things, we talk about soldier things, we talk about family life and can find common ground to support each other which is what you do in the military."

"You know, I'm normally the girl with the group of guys, so it was nice to have a group of girls to go out."

"Just walking in the woods is very peaceful anyways. But when you walk in the woods with somebody else that loves to be out there, you know it makes you feel accepted."

"Paul and Dee are fabulous. They're doing a wonderful job and it's just going to perpetuate more veterans to come and heal and find some strength."

Paul and Dee House have been working with veterans since 2010, honoring the memory of their late son who died while serving in Iraq.

"We're here for the companionship, camaraderie and I hope they walk away with more confidence and realize they can do things like this. It adds something new to your life and it's really special."

"There's so many resources and awesome programs in Maine. And the more we can learn about different programs then we can pass these on to veterans."

"I want them to feel appreciated and loved... And you wonder if anybody cares what you've done. They do. They really do care."

"I don't think there's a common misconception. I think people just don't understand what drives and draws women into the military and then how to treat them both with the respect as a veteran and still understand that they served too."

"We are a small percentage in the military of female veterans. But we served and we did our mission and you know it's something we're proud of."

For more information on House in the Woods and the programs they offer visit houseinthewoods.org