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Veterans at the STARS and Stripes Heroes Camp

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Ward Mayfield zip lines at a ranch north of Steamboat Springs. Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports’ Craig Kennedy said Steamboat often is a giving town when it comes to supporting such camps, but people go above and beyond for veterans including, for instance, allowing them to use a private zip line. Andy Kennedy/courtesy

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Chris Chatwin, from left, Dan Acosta, Aaron Bugg and Calder Young share a moment on the water of Hahn’s Peak Lake north of Steamboat Springs. Chatwin, Acosta and Bugg attended the camp as wounded veterans, and Young, who also falls into that category, was volunteering. The men said the experience goes far beyond enjoying a vacation — it offers them the chance to connect with others going through some of the same things they are. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Wade Sharbono, from left, Diana Sharbono, Kerry Conway and Aaron Bugg share stories while the fire warms up during the STARS and Stripes Heroes Camp at Hahn’s Peak Lake last month near Steamboat Springs. The camp drew about a dozen veterans to the area for camping, water skiing and simply relaxing. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Chris Chatwin watches his line in Hahn's Peak Lake last month. Chatwin served six tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and an infectious disease that leaves him short of breath almost no matter how vigorous the activity. This was his second event with other veterans, and he said there will be many more. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports’ Craig Kennedy tapes up a flag at the camping site for a night at Hahn’s Peak Lake. STARS played host to its second veterans-only camp last month. The local organization has found success raising money for veterans camps, and those events have helped turn donations toward the group’s more general programming. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Dan Acosta, a veteran from Chicago at his second Steamboat-area camp, waterskis last month during the STARS and Stripes Heroes Camp near Steamboat Springs. Andy Kennedy/courtesy

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Craig Kennedy sits at the edge of Hahn’s Peak Lake last month during the STARS and Stripes Heroes Camp. Kennedy and his wife, Andy, have been leading such camps for years, but only recently have they started playing host to all-veteran camps. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Josh Rynders casts into Hahn's Peak Lake. Rynders had hoped to make a career out of the Marine Corps, but that all changed when a mortar round landed near him and cut into his legs and body. He said that recovering from such an injury is a long, hard process but that being able to spend time with fellow veterans who have gone through the same process is helpful. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Chris Chatwin, an Army and Marine Corps veteran who lives in Denver, kayaks on Hahn’s Peak Lake near Steamboat Springs during the STARS and Stripes Heroes Camp. Post-traumatic stress disorder set in early during his military career and still afflicts him today. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Emily Potter strums on her guitar as the food is cooked last month at the STARS and Stripes Heroes Camp. Potter, who works with the Department of Veterans Affairs, attended the camp with several of her clients. She said a few days at such an event can be tremendously helpful for men and women returning from war. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist Bill Atkinson helped add a 400-yard, wheelchair-accessible fishing and walking path around a peninsula that sticks out into Hahn's Peak Lake. Kent Foster/courtesy

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