Hello my fellow Veterans and Thank You for Your Service!
Today is Veteran’s Day 2021. It’s been a little while since I have written anything for the website. I apologize for that. But like some of you I have been in deep thought about the present state of the Union. This article probably won’t be published in the New York Times or become a paragraph in any school books. However, if you are a Veteran, reading it and find something of value in the words than I will be satisfied with that. My name is Jesse Lee Walth. I am a U.S. Army Veteran of the Persian Gulf War where I served as a Combat Medic for the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I was also attached to 24th Mechanized Infantry Division for medical support during the battle of the Highway of Death. I also served at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis Washington. I worked in pediatric trauma, NICU, and the Emergency/Trauma Center. I am proud to say I was trained as a Paratrooper and if I say so myself I was hard to keep up with. That was a long time ago. But my service has stuck with me and everywhere I go and everything I do seems to have some trigger that brings me back to those days. It gets exhausting sometimes just trying to stop the racing thoughts of yesterday. I know some of you know what I am saying.
Today I live in a wonderful place about a mile from the New Mexico State line on the Colorado side just a hop skip and a jump from Pagosa Springs Colorado.
I have been so fortunate to find my self here. My wife and I live in a log home on the San Juan River where it flows by Montezuma Mesa. We are surrounded by the Southern Ute land as well a National Forrest and BLM properties. The land is sacred and she has been healing for me. We celebrated our 11th year in this house a week or so ago and the anniversary caused me to reflect on the effect living here has had on me with relation to my personal battle with the affects of P.T.S.D. It was just the other day when I received a call from the VA hospital down in Albuquerque. It was just a routine call about a dental appointment and the lady on the phone noticed that I lived out in the middle of nowhere and how nice it must be. She mentioned having been to Durango Colorado and showing some fancy dogs there in times past. She said it was a beautiful place and that she loved to see the elk and deer that seemed almost tame to her. In passing conversation I mentioned to her that living out here provides me the opportunity to seek peace of mind. She told me that a lot of Veterans live out in the sticks for that reason. I know for me that the hustle and bustle of a lot people around me overwhelms me. Sometime it feels like one confrontation after the other with cars and traffic and buildings and noises that seem to surround me. For most people the excitement is no big deal. I wish that were the case for me but it isn’t. So when I say this place is healing what I mean to say is the solitude and quiet of the nature that surrounds me brings me to a calm state of being. I find myself at rest and separate from the busy man made world and from there contemplation takes place and reflection and that opens the door to healing or at least coping better with stress. I want to share that with my fellow Veterans and their families. It is by no means a cure all but it is a part of my life and it really does help me. I find myself sitting by the river feeling a little more grounded, a little more hopeful, a little more prepared for the trouble of the day. The environment we spend time in makes a big difference in the way we see the world around us and the way we convey or communicate with each other.
My goal with the website has been to bring these types of outdoor opportunities to Veterans. To encourage them to get out into the natural world and find some peace of mind, to take the time to reflect on the life they have been given and to contemplate new paths that will lead to a happier existence. Life is made up of little moments segmented into memories. These memories become reflections of our lives and the picture they create is the result of our perspectives. The forefathers of this county called it the “pursuit of happiness”.
We Veterans and United States Citizens have a responsibility to those that have served and fallen in battle to live on and live well. In order for us to live well we have to know that life is valuable and we have the right from the Creator and by the Constitution to pursue that value unhindered by tyrants. It is the hope of Democracy.
Theirs is the highest sacrifice that can be made and how many of us have felt like giving up, like throwing it all away? I want to help steer myself and other Veterans away from destruction and death. If you are thinking of suicide please stop and call the
Veterans crisis line and talk to someone that can help you. 1-800-273-8255 press 1
I can tell you that I have come pretty close to ending my own life. After 30 years of struggle I am glad that I didn’t do it. I win a little everyday in spite of myself. I have a beautiful family, great neighbors and a few good friends most of them are Vets and every once and a while I pull a rainbow out of the river.
Again thank you for your service!
I will encourage you to stay strong, be proud, and pursue happiness!!
Jesse Lee Walth
This website has taken on a life of its own and it seems to point in the direction of awareness, and information for Veterans that want to pursue happiness. So this article marks a new beginning for VORTP. We are bringing you more relevant articles about the positive affects of outdoor recreational activities for Veterans. VORTP will now show more Video content from the Veterans Community. We will also be focusing on those non-profit organizations taking Veterans out on adventures and reporting on what they have gleaned from their experiences. With every Article there will be an opportunity to donate to that specific non-profit so we will be raising funds for these organizations doing the work and taking the time. VORTP will be incorporating an outfitter page geared for providing great equipment and outdoor clothing for any adventure. The Veterans will receive discounts on these items and a percentage of all profits from purchases will be donated to a worthy non-profit activity provider. We will also be creating a new page listing accommodations and guide services for those who want to take the adventure into their own hands.
At this time I would like to say thanks again to all the Activities Providers, Content Contributors, and business that provide the needed support to VORTP.