Grateful for Warriors and Quiet Waters

Carlye Luft, a great friend and fellow Army vet, hollered from the confines of Google Messenger, “Hey! You need check this out!” That fateful call harnessed a soulful retreat for four of the females I deployed with and me.

On September 23rd, we converged into the Quiet Waters ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana. The brown, three-story ranch sits in Gallatin Valley with majestic, snow-capped mountains surrounding all four sides.

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I don’t deserve this! Then we were introduced to our own rooms. Swag sat on the edge of our beds waiting patiently for our arrival. The tour continued with a stop in the movie theatre further into the basement, then a stop at the indoor pool and hot tub on the main floor. Walking into the larger than life dining and step-up living room conjured contentment and relaxation with the smell of fresh-cut wood, the mounts on the wall, a sled base converted into the coffee table.

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A covered, eating area outside sits next to the fire pit, which overlooks the burbling brook and beautiful sunrises.

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This is what my soul needed. Our next stop was Simms to get outfitted for our fishing adventures.

On Tuesday, we learned the art of casting, finding the right flies, and the joy of catching fish after fish on the Legacy Ranch in Paradise Valley.

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Warriors and Quiet Waters has provided an opportunity to heal through nature, companionship, camaraderie, and tranquility. My fishing guide, Sky, has been a true friend through this experience. He lends advice on fishing with ease, perfection, and compassion. He listens, free of judgment.

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We are given a companion as well through the hours of fishing. I feel as though I found a true friend in Leslee the past couple of days. She sounds like a beloved cousin making her voice a healing salve as we navigate the ponds and rivers of Montana.

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Today was a day for respite and a chance to hone our fishing skills. We went to a few ponds on the ranch and a hike on a nearby mountain.

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Thank you to the thousands of donors across the nation, the staff, and all of the volunteers that give up their own time to enrich our own. Don’t be a stranger to Wisconsin! You can fish on Stratton Lake anytime!

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