Numerous outdoor groups available to help veterans
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: April 10, 2020

Last week the Lake County Sheriff’s office suffered a terrible loss as a 32-year-old deputy and Marine Corps combat veteran took his own life, leaving behind a nine-year-old daughter.

According to the Veterans Affairs Office 53 Montana veterans committed suicide in 2017.

The National Suicide Hotline reports that the number of calls to its hotline has dramatically increased during the pandemic, as people lose work, lose hope and are cooped up to boot.

However, there are resources available to get veterans outdoors, and deal with mental health issues all at once.

The Montana Wounded Warrior Project 

The Montana Wounded Warrior Project provides free hunts and fishing expeditions to disabled veterans living in Montana.

Check out the group’s website here. 

Plan Bee

Retired Marine Corps Sgt. Chuck Lewis, of Ronan, knows all about veteran suicide. In 2013, after learning about a young man in Mission Valley who took his own life shortly after returning home as a civilian, Lewis walked 3,400 miles from the West Coast to the East Coast. He pushed a pushcart of veterans’ flags to remind those he met along the way about veteran suicide.

Now Lewis operates Plan Bee, a group that teaches veterans how to become beekeepers for free. The practice is therapeutic for the veterans, according to Lewis.

Check out the groups Facebook group here. 

Montana Veterans Outdoors 

Sometimes civilians just can’t relate. The Montana Veterans Outdoors (MVO)  group on facebook is available for veterans to chat online.

The group states the group is “for ALL veterans who enjoy the outdoors – past and present, regardless of branch, MOS, or experience. You can use this page to reach out and support your brothers and sisters in arms – share your hunting and fishing adventures, meet new like-minded individuals, ask questions, share knowledge, and get out on hunting and fishing trips with each other. So talk hunting and fishing, set up trips with other Vets in your area , share pics, and get on free trips!”

Check out the group here. 

Camp Patriot 

Nestled in the Yaak Valley, Camp Patriot connects veterans with the outdoors. Onsite activities can include fishing, archery, cross-country skiing, or homesteading activities. Off-ranch the group connects veterans with dog sledding, hunting, and motor sports.

Check out the group’s website here.