10 Highlights from 2019 Warriors Programs

In 2019, many veterans got to experience the life changing impact of going on a No Barriers Warriors Expedition. These expeditions challenge their participants to face physical and mental barriers through outdoor expeditions. Warrior expeditions are open to veterans of all abilities, creating an inclusive environment for all participants. 

No Barriers sees the struggles veterans with disabilities face when transitioning back to their old life, and empowers them to tackle these problems head on. This program is free for eligible veterans and gives them the opportunity to create supportive communities of like minded people. 

It focuses on creating personalized future oriented goals for each participant to take with them after the expedition and implement into their daily lives.

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: backcountry hiking with other veterans with disabilities

Photo Credit: Todd Newcomer / No Barriers.

And 2019 was one of our best seasons yet. It was chock-full of summits, rapids, tough climbs, group photos, laughter, tears, bug bites, campfire conversations, connection. Our participants dug deep to understand their inner barriers and how to move forward with more purpose, drive, and service to their communities.

We love our 2019 Rope Team and are here to share some of the best parts. Read quotes and highlights below from 2019 No Barriers Warriors Program alumni:

Major takeaways from Warriors alumni in 2019

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: whitewater rafting on the poudre river in colorado

Photo Credit: Rocky Mountain Adventures.

1. “A common thing we as service members miss is the ‘camaraderie’ that we once shared. Going on this trip connected me to other like veterans, and when that happened, I found a happiness and love I thought I had lost of was no longer there. It gave me lots of hope and made me feel alive again. I want other vets who suffer from PTSD to experience that to find a drive to keep listening.”  —An anonymous participant from October’s trip to Big Bend

2. “My son called me when we returned, and for the first time in a long time, I felt truly present. I felt more prepared to be a good parent. I feel like I was trying to fit into a box before. I was so hard on myself when I arrived. I knew that my life mattered, but I couldn’t feel it. I finally feel alive again. Like so much joy that it brings tears to my eyes.”—DF, Mt. Baker expedition

3. “No Barriers has been life changing and a game changer for me. Since I got out of the military, I found myself secluding myself from others and was challenged with making meaningful connections… This has inspired me and motivated me to maintain those connections.” —An anonymous participant from the August Colorado backcountry expedition

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: watching the sunset and the stars come out

Photo Credit: Drew Glickman / No Barriers.

4. “No Barriers provides a supportive environment for a veteran to challenge themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a result, veterans like me are able to overcome—or at the very least be handed the tools to overcome—challenges in their home life.” —An anonymous participant from October’s trip to Big Bend

5. “I know where I am in life now and I can use this as a stepping stone.” —Kurt Shumacher, August Grand Teton expedition

6. “It gave me a chance to unplug from the world, and it also let me know that there are others with the same struggles that come with PTSD. You don’t feel so alone.—An anonymous participant from the Mt. Baker expedition

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: big bend national park in texas for veterans with disabilities

Photo Credit: Micah Baird / No Barriers.

7. “I think the program has shown me I can trust and be vulnerable. It has also shown me that I can make a difference. It has changed my outlook on life.” —An anonymous participant from the Mt. Baker expedition

8. “I have newfound self worth that has slowly eroded over the last several years. It brought happiness and peace back in my life.” —An anonymous participant from the August Colorado backcountry expedition

9. “I know I need to be part of a group that gives back to society. I have become someone who isolates and who has withdrawn from social initiatives. This expedition has reminded me of how important it is to be a part of a team and give back.” —An anonymous participant from the June Colorado backcountry expedition

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: deep talks in the yurt

Photo Credit: Micah Baird / No Barriers.

10. “This experience cannot be pinned with a monetary value. The connections that were made throughout this experience are priceless and life changing. I felt a connection to the group from the very get go and I feel that it will only grow with time. I think that this program is going to be a literal lifesaver for some people because they found connections that money could not buy.” —An anonymous participant from the May Colorado backcountry expedition

Warriors Program overview

During the transition from military to veteran, service members face the challenge of redefining their purpose, developing a new identity, and building a supportive community.  The No Barriers Warriors Program is designed to address these obstacles—our alumni walk away equipped with the tools, skills, and Rope Team (community) to live their best, most purposeful life. 

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: hiking in the forest

Photo Credit: Micah Baird / No Barriers

The free, three-part program includes the following phases:

  • Pre-departure training (virtual)
  • Field experience (destinations vary)
  • Post-experience reflection & expansion (virtual)

You can learn more about the No Barriers Warriors programs here.

The 2019 expedition roster

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: group photo

Photo Credit: Leland Schmidt / No Barriers.

We’re grateful for the support from our individual and corporate donors for bringing the 2019 expedition season to life. Learn more details about each individual expedition, in addition to the incredible participants we welcomed along the way, on the following pages:

We’re so grateful for our 2019 Warriors!

2019 no barriers warriors program highlights: swimming in the cascades

Photo Credit: Didrik Johnck / No Barriers.

No Barriers Warriors programs are one of a kind, teaching the core concepts of the No Barriers Life while getting participants into a new community facing similar experiences and struggles post-deployment. The goal is to empower Warriors to reflect on the present, past and future to create a better life for participants. By using detailed goal planning, this program helps set participants up for the opportunity to transform their lives.

After these expeditions, No Barriers encourages alumni to stay in contact with No Barriers through individual support and alumni events. This program empowers veterans to acknowledge all they have been through while simultaneously planning positively for the chapters that await. From mountain treks to white water rafting to pushing your comfort zone and facing your vulnerabilities, No Barriers Warriors Programs offer a supportive environment for veterans with disabilities to grow.

Nominate a Veteran for a 2020 Expedition

November 27, 2019
No Barriers

No Barriers

Get Involved. Be Forever Changed.

Stay up-to-date on new opportunities & community stories.