OVERLAND UNLIMITED
Bridge of Hope

To provide a bridge of hope for all veterans returning to their vocations, families and communities, by delivering unique, off-road adventures that provide deployment (PDS) stress awareness and resilience training, community, and a connection to local organizations and mentors with spiritual values to enhance healing.

 
 
Justin Kingsland
President



Overland Unlimited is in need of financial support for the Warrior Tours so veterans can participate without
having to pay for anything. 

If you would like to help send a veteran on an overnight retreat “Warrior Tour” where they can to learn about how to “Find Balance” and understand how to recognize and cope with post deployment stress, please make a donation via Paypal today.  

$150.00 pays for one veteran

We Serve

 

All service members and veterans spanning every type of military operation in both peace and war.  Post deployment stress is not restricted only to combat operations but may also occur as a result of combat like conditions present throughout the entire spectrum of military operations.  These operations range from training, all phases of deployment, peacekeeping, humanitarian missions, stability and reconstruction, government support missions, and those missions that may include weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and/or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) weapons.

The Core Need

Post deployment stress awareness and resilience education

The effects of war on the stress system can be mild, moderate, or very intense. They can start right away, or wait months or years before causing problems. They can range from something as mild as a bad temper, or a tendency to jump at loud noises, to PTSD or an overwhelming urge to numb out on alcohol or drugs.

 

Source: Pamela Woll “Finding Balance”

The roots of post-deployment stress effects are physical, powerful, and automatic.  The systems that react to stress and threat live in all of us.  These reactions live on a continuum, from mild to severe, with many resilience and vulnerability factors placing us at different points on that continuum.  We can recognize some of these factors, but others we may never know.

In Service Members’ reactions to the stress of deployment, none of their vulnerability factors has anything to do with how smart they are, how strong or brave they are, how committed they are to their mission, or how much they love their country.  Unfortunately, this is something that many Service Members and veterans do not know—or may know intellectually but still doubt on deeper levels.

We all have within us the strength to overcome many of the effects of traumatic stress, and to learn to manage the others.  And we have within our reach all the resources we need to learn how to do this.  The first step is to gain a basic understanding of these effects.

Why an Outdoor Adventure

Health Day News—For military veterans, participation in group-based outdoor recreational activities correlates with benefits in psychological well-being, social functioning and life outlook, researchers found.

“This approach is especially intriguing since many veterans may find nature recreation programs more appealing than conventional clinical treatments,” Jason Duvall, PhD, and Rachel Kaplan, PhD.

Many veterans struggle with psychological issues following their service, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. As more troops return home, managing these physical and mental health issues has emerged as an important public health issue in recent years.

 

Duvall and Kaplan surveyed participants in 12 different multi-day group-based nature recreation programs that provided retreats and outings for them and their families.  In total, 98 veterans were recruited and surveyed one week before, one week after and about one month after. Changes in psychological well-being, social functioning, life outlook and activity engagement over time were assessed using self-reports.  The self-reports asked questions such as “In the last few weeks, how often have you felt like your life had clear goals or purpose?” and “When confronted with a difficult situation, how frequently do you try to look on the bright side of things?” with possible responses ranging from “never” to “very often.”

The activities included backpacking, canoeing, whitewater rafting and fly fishing, and the focus was kept on the actual exercises rather than the therapeutic aim of the study.

“While the purpose of these programs was to enhance the health and well-being of veterans, the majority of programs did not include any formal, structured psychological counseling or therapy,” Duvall and Kaplan explained.

Participation in group outdoor recreation experiences was associated with a number of benefits. One week after the outdoor experience, significant improvements were reported in psychological well-being, social functioning and life outlook; there were indications that these improvements persisted at one month.

After the outdoor experience, participants reported being more likely to participate in activities that involved exploration and to listen to and help others. Many reported lower levels of stress and higher levels of tranquility. Veterans who initially reported more severe on-going health issues had particularly strong positive changes.

“The positive outcomes associated with these programs can partly be attributed to spending time in restorative natural environments; however there are a number of other aspects of this experience that likely play an important role, such as personal challenge and companionship with other veterans.”

References

  1. Duvall J and Kaplan R. University of Michigan. "Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Experiences on Veterans." Report prepared for the Sierra Club Military Families and Veterans Initiative. June 2013. Available at http://www.sierraclub.org/military/downloads/Michigan-Final-Research-Report.pdf.

The Overland Unlimited Warrior Tour is a Jeep adventure, for up to 9 warriors. Participants ride in one of our Overland Unlimited’s custom supercharged Scout Jeeps on scenic  mountain and dirt roads throughout the Carolina Mountains. Team building adventure activities can include, rafting, zip lining, fishing, shooting, and hunting. 

Warriors are encouraged to bring family and friends.

Tours run year round, routes and activities are seasonal and subject to change.

Warrior Tour

This program is a unique Jeep on/off road mountain adventure that includes overnight camping and physical stress awareness training. Leaving Greer South Carolina at noon on Friday and returning by noon on Saturday. A patrol of upto 9 Warriors and 3 Pathfinders travel overland in custom jeep wranglers, to Gorges State Park, they see plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of rare and unique species in the eastern United States are found within Gorges State Park. An elevation that rises 2,000 feet in only four miles, combined with rainfall in excess of 80 inches per year, creates a temperate rain forest and supports a collection of waterfalls. 

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