Read below to see what our Veterans Program Alum have to say about their experience:
"The OB program was one of the greatest events I have ever had the opportunity to attend. It helped to give me a perspective on life that was second to none. I would rank this event as one of the most memorable events in my 35 years of life."
"I wouldn't trade my time with OB for anything. I met some of the best people ever who had a lot of the same experiences I did and that will always be with me. It does help to share the things you have experienced with others who have been there. Thanks so much for the opportunity."
"OB was the best two weeks of my life, I mean that with all seriousness, and I tell that to others regularly. Would do it again in a heartbeat."
"I think the course I went on was very helpful, and it allowed me to grow as a person. I was also allowed to talk about things in a calm, accepting environment with open-minded people. It felt good to let out some things I have held on to for a long time."
"As an additional takeaway, I learned that respect for nature is extremely important and that I have a lot in common with those that promote good stewardship. I have also taken this home and to work. I have a new commitment in my life: it is to respect, love and protect our environment."
"I enjoyed the instructors and our conversations each evening. To me, the conversations are the bulk of what a number of the veterans or other individuals may really need in their lives to get to the root of mental issues that are often more difficult to overcome by oneself. Learning to be more open about one's feelings will likely help a person realize that others have similar struggles and that they are not alone in their struggles or anguish."
"I hope that OB is able to continue to sponsor these veteran trips! The course guides were awesome; the nature was totally beautiful and inspiring. Being unplugged is something everyone should do, and I made more friends even though we were only together for a week, I will remember for a lifetime."
"This is one of the most positive experiences I have ever participated in. I am truly honored and privileged to say that I am a graduate of Outward Bound. Thank you for reminding me what is important in life. The memories and friendships that I formed while on my course will help guide me for the rest of my days. Thanks to the great crew of the Spider Ketch and especially to our talented instructors Rusty and Luke for always knowing what we needed, a shoulder to cry on or a swift kick in the butt. This was fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
"It gave me a new benchmark to measure things by besides Iraq. Much nicer."
"I am a strong person, much stronger than I gave myself credit for. My life is not over yet."
"I have always found it difficult connecting with others. During the course, I was forced to face that difficulty and forge relationships with my new boat mates to accomplish thing I never in my wildest dreams could have even imagined doing. My week on the Eliza Sue changed my life forever, and the friendships I made have continued to stay strong over a year later. My sisters from the sailing trip and I continue to encourage one another in our daily accomplishments and struggles."
"We talked to other veterans in our group and helped each other set goals that we could work towards upon our return home. I am happy to say I followed through with mine and it is a great source of happiness for me. I loved being back out in the secluded areas and being away from 'civilization' for awhile...it was refreshing and a very rewarding experience I will always remember. I'm still in contact with the women I met and I look forward to seeing them again in the future. Working hard as a team and challenging myself was something I missed from my days in the army and I loved every minute of my trip. I can't thank Outward Bound and the other groups involved in this process enough and I hope other veterans get the chance to have this experience as well."
"Outward Bound experiences for vets cannot be understated as the instructors are so genuine and flexible and it really allows the vets address their own issues in a very safe and non threatening environment. This program is a tremendous outreach to our country's Soldiers: thank you!"
"My Outward Bound experience probably saved my life. The guides didn't try to psychoanalyze us rather they gave us the time, space, and caring attitude to let us interact with other Vets. They made it clear that they were there to listen if we wanted to talk but also that they could never truly understand what we had been through but that didn't matter, they wanted us to feel safe on a level of our choosing. I think they were truly interested in our experiences but didn't want us to feel pressured to do or say anything."
"...in all the programs, sessions, and events I have participated, Outward Bound's program has done the most in restoring my ability to function independently and to think positively...The unique mix of physical and mental challenges, team building, and retrospective exercise has helped me to think of myself not as a victim, but as a rescuer of myself."
"I have had substantial experience with the resources of the VA and military health system in regards to disabled veterans. Nothing else I have done, to include individual and group therapy, has had such a dramatic and immediate beneficial impact on my motivation, self-confidence, and overall state of mind."