There's a truly superb article in today's New York Times, written by Conrad Mulcahy, called "Outward Bound, Looking In," about a unique Outward Bound experience in the wilderness for veterans. The article describes the course of a particular recent trip, and it's both profound and subtly written -- a true joy to read. The trip described, which took place in the Colorado mountains, seemed to be both cathartic and bonding for its varied participants, veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. (Outward Bound itself, with umpteen courses worldwide, even has its own quasi-military roots, as the article describes.)
Part of the purpose of the trip for the veterans who went seemed to be come to terms with how to leave the war behind, to the extent that's even possible. Said one young Marine who participated, echoing many other veterans' points of view, “I wish that civilians and policy makers really understood, at an emotional level, the tremendous toll and cost of war on those who actually experience it." "As another recent veteran added, “I think if there’s one message I could get across to the public, it’d be to not give up on us,” he said as the group walked through the mountain sunshine to the trailhead."
A fascinating article, written with aplomb, about a seemingly life-affirming experience in the wilderness for combat veterans. For more information about Outward Bound wilderness programs for veterans can be found here.