Nonprofits to provide wilderness experience for veterans

Posted  by  & filed under Press Releases.

Veterans Expeditions, a Colorado-based non-profit that reconnects service members to one another, the land they fought for and outdoor employment opportunities, will take its second Browns Canyon expedition June 21-23.The rafting and climbing expedition is in partnership with Friends of Browns Canyon. Dvorak’s Raft Kayak and Fish Expeditions will be the outfitter and will provide guiding on the river for 15 participating veterans of diverse abilities and eras from around the country. Lee Hunnicutt of Salida is the trip coordinator.

2013 VetEx Browns Canyon crew

2013 VetEx Browns Canyon crew

“Our first such mission in June 2013 was an unqualified success, and we want to build on that,” said Hunnicutt. “Veterans Expeditions co-founder and friend Nick Watson and I share a belief based upon our own individual experiences recovering from the effects of combat and the difficulties faced while trying to reintegrate into civilian society. Each of us, and countless others, found the solace we sought in the outdoors. Wilderness provides an opportunity to view your life in relation to something far greater and can help you find or create a stable center inside you, one that you can revisit when needed. This concept has proven itself over and over, from Outward Bound to Veterans Expeditions. Lives are changed for the better by the wilderness experience.”

2014 VetEx Browns Canyon crew

2014 VetEx Browns Canyon crew

According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, 22 veterans take their own lives each day. Many more struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, lives upset by multiple deployments, financial difficulties and delayed benefits.

Watson, a former Army Ranger, recruited participants from the VetEx community. In 2013, VetEx ran more than 30 trips across the United States, getting hundreds of military veterans outside and earning the honor of 2014 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year.

“The time spent out with all these veterans and all these service stories is nothing short of awesome,” said Watson. “Veterans let their guards down with one another, and out came the stories of war and civilian life struggles and success.”

This trip is fully funded by donations at no charge to the veterans. 100% of funds raised go directly toward trip expenses, with no administrative fees or salaries.

If you know a veteran who might be eligible for Veterans Expeditions, or to volunteer or contribute, please contact Lee Hunnicutt at [email protected] or Nick Watson at [email protected]

About Veterans Expeditions

Veterans Expeditions is a veteran led, chartered non-profit in the State of Colorado. Veterans Expeditions has an independent board and operates nationwide. Their mission is to empower veterans to overcome challenges associated with military service through outdoor training and leadership. Learn more at www.vetexpeditions.com.

About Friends of Browns Canyon

For years, a local coalition comprised of recreationists, sportsmen and local businesses have been working to protect Browns Canyon. The Friends of Browns Canyon, along with bipartisan lawmakers, are working towards permanent protection of the approximately 20,000-acre area.

Learn more at www.brownscanyon.org.

2014 Browns Canyon VetEx crew

2014 Browns Canyon VetEx crew