GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – It is not often a weekend will include shorts weather, driving rain, snow, and freezing conditions. But that is what a group of wounded veterans experienced while hiking through the Grand Canyon recently.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) took the injured service members on the three-day hike to increase camaraderie with their fellow wounded veterans. WWP sees Engagement as one of four pillars, along with Mind, Body, and Economic Empowerment, in the healing process for injured servicemen and women. The goal is to encourage camaraderie through events like this weekend’s hike and camp, so wounded veterans can build and expand their support structure.
David Myers is a Navy veteran who registered as a WWP Alumnus earlier this year. “The trip was awesome,” David said. “It was a challenge, but amazing. Gave me a sense of physical accomplishment I have not had in years.”
The small group of wounded veterans hiked from the top of the Grand Canyon down to the Colorado River and Phantom Ranch.
“We covered about 23 miles during the trip, much of that straight up and down, while carrying 45-pound packs,” David said.
The constantly changing weather didn’t make their trek easy.
“We came prepared for the elements, so it made the trip enjoyable, despite the changing weather,” David said.
Between dealing with rough terrain and the weather, wounded veterans learned about WWP programs and bonded over their shared adventure.
“Being in the canyon was rejuvenating,’ David said. “I used to live in the outdoors, and this trip brought that passion back into my life.”