Memorial Day is a special time for honoring the men and women who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for our country and for our freedom.
This is a particularly special day for the House family, and all involved with House in the Woods Military and Family Retreat. For this is a day that we reflect on the life of Sgt. Joel A. House, son of Executive Director Paul House, and his wife Deanna House.
Joel House was born and raised in Lee, Maine. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended basic training in August 2003, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He was an Abrahms A-1 Tanker, doing 2 tours in Iraq. Joel was killed in action while in Iraq on June 23rd, 2007, by a roadside bomb.
The vision for House in the Woods began shortly after that, while Paul House attended a military service at Ford Hood Texas for his son, and 18 other men that were killed that month from the CAV unit. Paul often looks back and recalls the morning following this service, when tears suddenly flowed down his cheeks. It was at that moment that he recalls receiving the knowing, and understanding what his mission was going to be from that day forward. Helping our military heroes, their families and God Star Families.
Joel grew up hunting and fishing, doing all things outdoor related and most importantly loved spending time at “camp” with his family and friends. Humble and kind, Joel had a passion for the outdoors, sharing it with those he loved, and his faith.
The House in the Woods mission of creating a healing “Home Away from Home” is a way at we can honor Joel’s memory, his service, and continue sharing his love of the outdoors with men and women of the military, who need the healing the outdoors and camaraderie can offer.
Paul House shares in a recent interview on NEWSRADIO WGAN, “The mission and the organization was inspired by God. It’s not me, it’s God’s work. It’s about our men and women who have sacrificed so much.”
“If it wasn’t for Joel and his sacrifice, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing to help others. One of things I said when we first lost Joel was, God doesn’t make mistakes. I don’t understand it, and it hurts, it hurts so badly, so bad. But I know Joel is in heaven with the Lord. I don’t understand it, but God does. As difficult as it is, I’ve never questioned. He used the smallest and the least. That’s where it hits home for me.”
“The mission is the same today as it was in the beginning. Helping men and women of the military to heal, and to get through this life without committing suicide. It’s an honor for me and for us as an organization to help our men and women.” Paul shares.
Thank you to Joel, and to ALL those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
We can not forget the immeasurable price each has paid for the right for all of us to be free.
On behalf of all of us at House in the Woods, thank you to those lost, and to the families of those affected.
We live in this God blessed America because of you.
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House in the Woods
217 Skunk Hill Road
Lee, Maine 04455