After Returning Home, Soldiers Find Sanctuary in Being Together on Outdoor Adventure Trips

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'The First Night I Had a Decent Night's Sleep

Young added that the trips are a great way for him to re-connect with those who lived through intense situations together.

"I know all these other guys are having such a blast that we want to make this a regular deal," he said. "We are probably going to be doing this every year, hopefully."

Out here, they have a sanctuary. On a raft heading down the river, the men, once again, experience the courage, brotherhood and the real sense of power they loved and needed while in combat.

"The big problem for me before I got out here [was that] I was constantly thinking about my past, what I could have done different" Young said. "The first night we floated down on the raft during the night -- that was the first night I had, like, a decent night's sleep. And I'm, like, wet. And it was a little chilly. I mean, 14 of us on this little raft sleeping together. ... My mind was clear. I wasn't thinking about anything. I was just thinking about stars, shooting stars, everything. Just, it was awesome."

In the morning, the sun rose over the mountaintops and the men took in the breathtaking landscapes. Perhaps they will start to remember there was something worth fighting for after all.

For more about Outward Bound for Veterans, visit its website www.outwradboundveterans.org

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