ROCKWELL: Anytime in your life that you're feeling stress
or need to just kind of reconnect with nature,
the mountains are the place to do it for me.
I was a skier before I was in the military. Afterwards, I was able to spend time with
other veterans and get to meet new people while skiing or hiking.
Being able to get to the top of the mountain and look out on everything that's going on,
I feel refreshed, ready to kind of move on with the day.
It helps give me a sense of purpose.
I deployed as a platoon leader into Kunar, Afghanistan in 2009.
I was there for about 13 months, came back for about 10 months and then redeployed with
the same unit, 10th Mountain again, to the Arghandab Valley
outside of Kandahar in Afghanistan in 2011.
There's no greater camaraderie than what you find in the military.
When you're put into those circumstances, that's going to create an incredible bond.
The second you leave your unit, you lose that really tight bond you had
with the men and women you served with
in country and in combat.
I didn't have that problem at Sloan or at MIT, but I've kept in touch with some people
that were not able to find that.
A lot of us, members of our military units commit suicide upon return after they got
out of the military, and that's sometimes a direct result of not being able to find
support and a community to be a part of.
The purpose of 10th Mountain Healing is to help combat veterans reintegrate into society,
and our way of doing that is to use the mountains.
We're all big skiers.
We all personally find that being in the mountains helps us deal with
the events of our time in the military.
So we wanted to share that with other veterans.
Every year we try to get 15 to 16 combat veterans going out to Colorado.
There's an incredible back country hut system out there called the 10th Mountain Hut System.
We're able to actually climb from Camp Hale, the original home of the 10th Mountain Division,
up to these huts and kind of follow in the footsteps of the original 10th Mountain soldiers.
We’re able to spend two to three nights at these huts and people can either ski, snowboard.
They can do whatever they feel kind of connects them with the mountains up there.
The journey of getting everybody equipped and getting them to the top of the mountain
is really kind of the most powerful thing that I've seen every year.
They're climbing 2,500 to 3,000 feet at elevation up to these huts.
These people from different backgrounds, have only known each other for 48 hours, are able
to get together and get these people to the top of the mountain regardless of their skill.
Our first year, we had a Marine veteran named Jordan.
He had a little bit trouble getting the top of the mountain, but he made it up.
And then he came back the next year and he helped other people get up the mountain.
[OFF- CAMERA] Looking good. Looking good.
[OFF-CAMERA] Nice. Nice!
We kind of pride ourselves on being a very small organization at this time.
So we're the ones reaching out to veterans.
We're the ones there with them on the trip.
It's a very personal experience.
It's a huge part of my life.
I really enjoy planning these trips.
I enjoy reaching out to veterans, getting to know them.
The entire veterans' community can benefit from trips like 10th Mountain Healing.