The Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County is working to raise money to send 10 local veterans to a life-changing wilderness program.
Outward Bound is a nationwide program that's free for veterans with the help of donations. The adventure program helps thousands of returning service members and recent veterans readjust to life at home through powerful wilderness courses that draw on the healing benefit of teamwork and challenge through use of the natural world.
"It was very enlightening, very spiritual, very calming, soothing that I got to be with my fellow veterans and share a sense of camaraderie", said Casey Schaubschlager, Program Director for the Wounded Heroes Fund.
Schaubschlager spent five days in the John Muir Wilderness and says everyone had daily duties of either being the leader with the map or someone who cooked for the group of 8 veterans. He says at the end of everyday when they came to a way point, they would stop and take 15 minutes to find a place alone, and sit and write down thoughts in a journal.
"We think about things in our life and when you just look up and look at what god made its very majestic", said Schaubschlager.
Veterans take part in wilderness expeditions that are physically, mentally and emotionally challenging in order to build the self-confidence, pride, trust and communication skills necessary to successfully return to their families, employers and communities following wartime service.
"During the trip they gave me some tools for the toolbox, and just really helps remembering to revert back to those to help myself with PTSD", said Schaubschlager.