Overlanding gives vets unable to hike and climb a way to experience outdoor adventures.
On this trip Matt’s group drove to the Summit Fire Lookout at Dutchman Peak (7,418 feet in elevation) in Oregon’s Siskyou National Forest.
Matt said that one of the challenges of overlanding is overcoming obstacles on the rough terrrain. “They create a real team-building situation,” he said.
Team Overland helps to inspire participants as well as hone social and cognitive skills.
Vets get the opportunity to bond on excursions at no cost.
Since returning from the Middle East, Matt Havniear has wanted to give something back to fellow veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress. Now he’s following through with his new company, Team Overland.
He described its mission. “We are a non-profit outdoor adventure company. We offer trips for people who need an outlet to manage their own stresses.”
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Havniear realized the need for such a group from his own experience.
“For a couple of years, I needed help but didn’t know where to go,” he said. “I would have loved to go on trips like we take. And I want to make them available to all.”
Such excursions may take participants—at no cost—to high-mountain hiking trails or winter snow adventures where the journey itself is the goal. Team Overland helps to build social and cognitive skills and it aims to inspire the participants.
“Hopefully, at the end of the trip, they come back healthier than when they left,” he said.
Havniear kicked off Team Overland earlier this year, organized a board of directors, received his non-profit status and began to get the word out through social media and a website, teamoverland.org. Trips are open to anyone—not just veterans—suffering from post-traumatic stress who wants to participate in self-reliant adventure travel.
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“What makes me happy is working for veterans and other people,” Havniear explained. “I don’t care if we help one person or 10. I want to help as many people as I can for as long as I can.”
This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Fall 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.
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