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Disabled Veterans Hunt at Chester Woods

Created: 11/14/2013 5:48 PM KSTP.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Each year the Olmsted County Park and Rec Department does something special for our veterans. We spent the afternoon in the woods with a couple of vets who say they not only appreciate it but look forward to it.

Kevin Bauer of Faribault retired from the army this past May.

"I decided after 27 years, that was plenty,” said Army Veteran, Kevin Bauer.

But now he suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, finding it tough be himself again.

"It's kind of a vicious circle that you go through, but out here you're able to think about things and put things in the right perspective,” said Bauer. 

This is the third year Olmsted County has organized a hunt for local disabled vets. Kevin says the hunt isn't just about bagging a buck. 

"To know that there's other people that have done the same thing or been experience some of the same things that I have, for me that's what it's all about,” said Bauer, and Kevin isn't alone.

"It just makes me feel normal again and really like one of the guys,” said Army Veteran, Patrick Zeigler. 

Patrick Zeigler served in the Army, but was shot during the Fort Hood shooting in Texas, "It really means a lot and I don't know if I could do this on my own,” said Zeigler. 

For most of the vets taking to their blinds this weekend, the hunt centers around comradery more than anything else. For Kevin Bauer, a thank you isn't enough for the opportunity to get back to the way things used to be, back to himself. 

"Heroes come in all different forms and come from all different platforms and these guys are truly probably the heroes of today,” said Bauer. 

This is just the beginning of this year's vet hunt at Chester Wood Park. It goes through Sunday and Saturday is actually their big day, where more vets make it out and volunteers help out all day long.