Outward Bound's first courses for veterans were established through collaboration with Veterans Administration Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) units to serve Vietnam War veterans. Outward Bound renewed the program in 2006 to serve Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, running one such course each year. The 2006 and 2007 courses both received overwhelmingly positive evaluations. Based on this success, Outward Bound received a three-year, $4.3 million grant from Military Family Outdoor Initiative Project (MFO) in 2008. More recently, Outward Bound for Veterans has received the generous support of Holiday Retirement Communities, Fortress Investments and a network of private donors and charitable foundations that allow us to serve over 600 veterans a year.
Outward Bound for Veterans helps returning service members and recent veterans readjust to life at home through powerful wilderness courses that draw on the healing benefit of teamwork and challenge through use of the natural world.
These expeditions purposefully scaffold wartime experiences with authentic achievements to create positive emotional and mental outcomes. Many veterans experienced courage, brotherhood and a real sense of power and competence while in combat. Outward Bound gives Veterans and service members the opportunity to re-experience these strengths in themselves in a different context, helping them to transition back to civilian life.