Malvern scouts meet Warrior Hikers on Appalachian Trail

A small group of boy scouts from Malvern Troop 7 traveled to Duncannon, Pennsylvania to meet up with the 2014 Warrior Hikers on the Appalachian Trail. From left are, Shane Johnston, Vicki Sharpless, Cas Szupica, Jesse “The Viking” Swensgard, Matt Lanetti, Matt “Machine” Donnelly, Brody Plourde, Richie Cavallaro, Joe “QT” Young, Cosmo Brown, Cecil “Stitch” Thayer, Todd “Big Foot” Rogers & David Lanetti Courtesy Photo

 

On June 20, a small group of boy scouts from Malvern Troop 7 traveled to Duncannon, Pennsylvania to meet up with the 2014 Warrior Hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

The Warrior Hike ‘Walk off the War’ program is in its third year, the brainchild of U.S. Marine Sean Gobin who walked the entire 2,185 mile trail in 2012 to raise funds to purchase vehicles for disabled veterans. However, he recognized the therapeutic effects of this trek and decided the program would better serve as a way for veterans to decompress after their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This year, the program has expanded to include not only the Appalachian Trail, but also the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. On March 17, 14 veterans began the hike northward from Georgia toward Mt. Katahdin in Maine.

Malvern Troop 7 became involved with the Warrior Hike program when Troop Committee Chairperson, Vicki Sharpless, challenged the scouts to raise $1,800 – the cost to sponsor one hiker for the 6-month trek. She had heard about Warrior Hike in 2013 and had followed the program through Facebook.

The scouts and their families and friends surpassed the goal, raising approximately $2,500. In fact, two of the scouts, Richie Cavallaro and Brody Plourde, raised almost $2,000 of the total with the help of the students and families of St. Norbert School in Paoli.

Scouts Cavallaro, Plourde, Cas Szupica, Shane Johnston and Matthew Lanetti, along with leaders Sharpless and David Lanetti, made their way to the sleepy town of Duncannon, north of Harrisburg at the junction of the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers.

The group met up there with the six remaining Warrior Hikers. The scouts and veterans formed a quick bond and shared hiking stories and other experiences. The scouts joined the veterans in their welcome ceremony, riding on fire trucks through the town and attending the evening’s community dinner at the local American Legion hall.

That night as the scouts and veterans parted ways, a promise was made. These new heroes – with trail names The Viking, Stitch, Cosmo, QT, Big Foot and Machine – plan to take a photo of themselves with a Troop 7 shirt at the top of Mt. Katahdin at the end of their journey, and the Troop 7 scouts will be cheering them the whole way.

Reposted from Dailylocal.com: http://www.dailylocal.com/lifestyle/20141002/malvern-scouts-meet-warrior-hikers-on-appalachian-trail

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2014 Warrior Hike Comes to Millinocket

                On Saturday, September 13, 2014 Sean Gobin, Marine combat veteran and founder of Warrior Hike, spoke at the Trails End Festival in Millinocket, Maine. Warrior Hike provides returning combat veterans a therapeutic experience to transition to civilian life and come to terms with their wartime experiences through thru-hiking a national scenic trail and connecting with the outdoors. Warrior Hike began in 2012 with Gobin’s thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and has experienced significant growth.

This year marked the first year in the program’s history that Warrior hikers were on the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. The growth of the program from the AT to other national scenic trails is an exciting development. Four Warrior Hikers who thru-hiked the AT were in attendance, having summited Katahdin the previous day, and represented each branch of the US military, with the exception of the Coast Guard.

Gobin also announced an expansion of Warrior Hike. Veterans, specifically those injured while serving and are unable to hike, expressed an interest in a similar opportunity to connect with the outdoors to help them heal mentally from their wartime experiences. The result will be Warrior Paddle, which will entail paddling the entire length of the Mississippi River.

                For more information on Warrior Hike or to learn how to support them, visit warriorhike.org

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See pictures on their Facebook Site: https://www.facebook.com/warriorhike

Veteran & Warrior Hike Founder to Be Honored at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Awards Gala

Washington, DC (April 29, 2014) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will recognize Sean Gobin, founder and executive director of Warrior Hike, during the fifth annual Leaders in Conservation Awards Gala on May 20, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Gobin will be honored with the ATC’s Special Achievement Award for his innovation, commitment and success in creating Warrior Hike’s “Walk Off The War,” a long-distance hiking opportunity for veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Warriors in Front Royal
Warrior Hikers in Front Royal, VA

“I can’t thank the Appalachian Trail Conservancy enough for this recognition,” Gobin said. “The Warrior Hike ‘Walk Off The War’ program would not exist today without the incredible support from everyone at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. I am honored to continue our partnership as we create a meaningful and life-changing journey for our nation’s veterans after they return home from the battlefield.”

Gobin served in the United States Marine Corps from 1994 to 2012, and during his service, he deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. After his time in the Marines, Gobin thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) from Georgia to Maine and, recognizing the therapeutic effects of long-distance hiking, founded the “Walk Off The War” program to support veterans transitioning from military service. “Walk Off The War” provides participating veterans with equipment and supplies required to complete a thru-hike of one of America’s National Scenic Trails; coordinates trail town support in the forms of transportation, food and lodging; and assists veterans with future employment opportunities through partners and sponsors.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to present the Special Achievement Award to Sean Gobin at this year’s Gala,” said Ron Tipton, executive director and CEO of the ATC. “Sean recognizes the benefits of using the outdoors as a form of therapy and, through the ‘Walk Off The War’ program, helps our military veterans transition back into civilian life.”

Event overview:
Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 5th Annual Leaders in Conservation Awards Gala
Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Time: 6 p.m. Reception | 7 p.m. Awards and Dinner
Location: Roof Terrace | 101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

In addition to Gobin, the event will recognize Sen. Richard Burr and Congressman David Price, both from North Carolina, as well as Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, for their commitment to the preservation of the A.T.

For more information about the 5th Annual Leaders in Conservation Awards Gala, call Amy McCormick at 304.535.2200 ext. 123, email amccormick@appalachiantrail.org or visitappalachiantrail.org/gala2014.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world.The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit http://www.appalachiantrail.org.

Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: jfolgar@appalachiantrail.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ATHike
Web: http://www.appalachiantrail.org

They Made It! Thanks to Warrior Hike Support in A.T. Communities

Dear supporters of the Warrior Hike in A.T. Communities (you know who you are!),

Thanks again to all those  who showed hospitality to the hikers by providing food and fellowship, lodging, and moral support  when they came through your A.T. Community.

Warrior Hiker
Stephanie makes her last climb on the Appalachian Trail before reaching Mount Katahdin. Photo and caption from Warrior Hike Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/warriorhike.

Washington Post – Veterans on Warrior Hike finish Appalachian Trail in Maine; aids transition to civilian life

Bangor Daily News – Walking off their wars: Combat veterans through-hike the Appalachian Trail

JTNews – A walk through the wilderness to walk off the war

Here’s a quote from the Washington Post article that explains how important the support from communities along the A.T. was to the hikers:

Local veterans and community groups along the trail also offered support by transporting the hikers to and from the trail, putting them up for the night in lodges and at their homes and taking them out to dinner, Gobin said. “So to see the outpouring of support from the American people is also a therapeutic part of it,” he said. Hiking the trail forces these veterans, some of whom may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and feel isolated, to socialize. “And what it does is it reconfirms your belief in humanity, that there’s good people out there and despite what you’ve experienced there’s a lot of good out there,” he said.

You can view more photos and articles and information about the Warrior Hike at www.warriorhike.com and on Facebook. 

The “Walk Off the War” program was conceived and developed by the Warrior Hike founder Sean Gobin and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

You Are Invited! Warrior Hike “Walk Off the War” Event

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Dutchess County Tourism and The Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community invite you to join them in welcoming members of the 2013 Warrior Hike to the region on July 22nd. The Warrior Hike “Walk Off The War” Program supports combat veterans who have served in conflicts around the globe transition from military service by thru-hiking the 2,180 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine.
The hikers will arrive at the Appalachian Trail at Native Landscaping in Pawling where they will be welcomed by dignitaries and supporters — please join us there to greet them and show our support.
HIkers on Mountaintop

Afterwards, we will cross Route 22 and  follow the Appalachian Trail to Wingnut Farm on Lola Lane in Pawling, NY,  for  a community barbeque celebration.

The event is free, but space is limited. Please help us anticipate attendance and click on the link below to RSVP.
When
Press conference
Monday, July 22, 2013
From 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Followed by
Hike to Community BBQ
(Approx. 1.5 miles;
driving directions below)

Where

Appalachian Trail

Native Landscaping
991 NY Route 22
Pawling, NY 12564

Celebration to follow:

6:00 PM at Wingnut Farm,

Lola Lane, Pawling, NY

Link to Google map 

RSVP
I can’t make it
Please contact us if you have questions about the event or registration. You can read more about the Warrior Hike “Walk Off the War” Program at www.warriorhike.com.
Thank you for your response, and we look forward to seeing you at your event.
Sincerely,
The Warrior Hike Support Team
Arch Street Communications