Warrior Expeditions aims to help veterans find peace through hiking

Published: Aug. 31, 2018 at 6:41 PM EDT
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For Sean Gobin, hiking is a peaceful experience.

After his last tour overseas, he hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. He says it helped him process what he had experienced during his time as a marine.

"Hiking the Appalachian Trail was a really therapeutic experience," Gobin said.

The time he spent on the trail inspired him to create a program that would help other veterans process their time overseas.

Gobin says that's sometimes difficult when soldiers can return home within 72 hours of being in a combat zone.

Gobin is the founder and executive director of Warrior Expeditions, which is a non-profit, outdoor therapy program.

"It mimics what we used to do back before the age of modern transportation when armies would march home from war," Gobin said. "You would do it with the people you fought with, and it took months, sometimes even years to get home."

Veterans in the program go on three- to six-month trips, which are entirely funded by donations.

Recently, the program received a $20,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.

Gobin says the grant will help him provide other veterans with the same experience of peace he had while hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

"We wouldn't be able to do what we do," he said. "We rely solely on donations, so that allows us to continue to support more veterans each year."

The program, and how it helps other veterans, means a lot to Gobin.

"It gives me a sense of purpose," he said, "and a sense of a reason to get up in the morning."