Treks 4 Vets is an adaptive sports program that is held weekly for veterans at Irvine Regional Park and surrounding locations. Ecotherapy explores how quality nature time eases stress, anxiety, and depression.
"Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street." - William Blake
For many hikers, bonding with other veterans is the most helpful part of the week. They're re-creating a sense of unit cohesion and social support that's often missing after military service ends.
"A walk in nature walks the soul back home,"
"It was just a continual need to get out of my body, because there was so much pain in it, And when I found hiking, I'm like, Oh, thank God, because now I can come and heal myself."
It works if you take a friend, too.
"It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Sir Edmund Hillary
At "recreational therapy" camps, outdoor activities and mindfulness help veterans with PTSD, and other issues. A 2015 study found people who take nature walks have lower activity in the parts of the brain where negative thoughts can spool.
"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home,"
We provide progressive outdoor hiking and camping opportunities to improve quality of life for veterans with physical and mental disabilities and their families.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." - Walt Whitman
Advancements in physical medicine, technology and public awareness of disabilities have provided new opportunities for our disabled veterans. Heal Our Troops America's evolved to take advantage of these to develop adaptive sports programs based on leisure sports and recreational activities to rejuvenate and inspire disabled veterans to re-capture their lives.
"Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein
The beauty about hiking is that it's truly an activity for every individual. Whether a veteran is physically or mentally disabled, young or old, an expert or an amateur, there's a trail out there that will be perfect for each of our heroes. Veterans are able to explore this incredible world we live in. Hikers fall in love with the beauty of the earth. and are left thinking about the stunning land they've seen and have still yet to explore.