Wounded NH veteran inspired by bird-watching
A couple of years later, on a bird-watching trip suggested by a volunteer at the Audubon Society, Vallieres was watching a small, vibrant-colored bird soar through the Franconia Notch sky - and, just like that, his life changed once again.
"When you see a peregrine falcon, with its chocolate eyes, you wonder what they see," Vallieres says. "We look up into the atmosphere and see the sky and clouds, yet that bird sees the most microscopic thing. They see the beauty of the environment, and it gives me so much passion and so much inspiration."
His smile is contagious as he tosses a rock into the waters of the Suncook River and then excitedly points as the ripples reach a raft of ducks swimming nearby, causing them to become eerily still as they assess the situation, trying to determine if there's a threat nearby.
On May 16, he served as host to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., as she toured the New Hampshire Audubon Society, guiding her through an up-close look inside a bald-eagle sanctuary.
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