Veterans need resilience to stay alive.
While deployed, we are taught to “embrace the suck”, and “lean into the pain”. These are mottos veterans live by while deployed, mottos that fuel them to stay positive and fight another day. However, the tools and mottos that veterans use to find resilience while deployed often don’t translate or are hard to find post-deployment, making it difficult to cope with the challenges of overcome the effects of war and a lot of cases just returning to civilian life.
The founders of Veteran Overland, through their own post-deployment challenges, identified an outlet to connect the post deployment soldier to the resilience tools and mindsets they utilized while serving. It’s called overlanding; a vehicle supported and self-reliant way of multi-day travel that incorporates convoy, camaraderie, preparation, gear, and adventure, all aligning to the skills and mindsets veterans live by while serving overseas.
Veterans find it therapeutic and love it.
Since its founding in 2016, and officially becoming a 501c3 in 2019, Veteran Overland has grown to over 700 members and thousands of supporters across the country. Each year V/O organizes 7-10 annual overlanding trips and camps. The goal of each trip is to provide the opportunity for connection amongst like-minded veterans in settings and experiences where “hunting the good stuff”, also known as resilience, can be reenergized.
The outcome of the trips is a more connected veteran; connected to a fellow veteran they met on the camp, connected to a positive experience they had on the trip, and more connected to the resilient mindset that got them through deployment. The outcome is progress towards a veteran who feels happy and is enabled with tools to help them cope with challenges they face post-deployment.
V/O organizes multiple trips and retreats to keep the momentum and progress for the veterans moving forward, something to count on. A few of the more specific camps include; Memorial Day, Veterans Day and, a week-long “Big Trip” in the summer that takes members to overlanding trails across various states. In 2020, V/O hosted its first ever Vet Connect; a multi-day overlanding trip with our leadership team and one nominated veteran. The Vet Connect is designed to specifically reach one veteran who would benefit from a smaller group setting. V/O also organizes for its members to do day trips for skill building and partnering with other organizations such as Soul River, Wanderlust Overland, Backroad 4WD Training, and PDX Overland as examples. Veterans like purpose and helping others, V/O gives them opportunities for both.
The success of the camps, Vet Connect, and ongoing activities has been tremendous, and the goal to reenergize resilience within the veteran community is working. The connection, experience, and camaraderie V/O creates is making an impact and the response from our veterans who have joined V/O is overwhelming. V/O has received testimonials to the extent that our non-profit has drastically improved their life, and for some, has saved their life. V/O has grown into something more valuable than could have ever been predicted and work must continue.
- Team V/O
This mission and work would not be possible without the amazing team of volunteers. Please learn more about them here: