Sean Gobin

Backpacker - - Public Lands | See It - –Han­nah John­son

TURN­ING POINT

In 2012, fol­low­ing de­ploy­ments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gobin, a Cap­tain in the Ma­rine Corps, thru-hiked the Ap­palachian Trail. “The out­pour­ing of sup­port I ex­pe­ri­enced on the trail was re­ally im­pact­ful,” Gobin says. “In com­bat zones, you ex­pe­ri­ence the worst of hu­man­ity and start to have a cyn­i­cal view of so­ci­ety. The Ap­palachian Trail com­mu­nity reestab­lished the ba­sic faith in hu­man­ity I lost some­where along the way.”

RE­SULTS

Gobin founded War­rior Ex­pe­di­tions, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that has pro­vided free, long-dis­tance out­door ex­pe­di­tions for 148 vet­er­ans since 2013. “We have a vet­eran pop­u­la­tion try­ing to heal from war ex­pe­ri­ence, and our en­tire so­ci­ety is try­ing to over­come all kinds of trauma,” Gobin says. “The out­doors is a free, great, and ac­ces­si­ble way to do that.” (For more on the heal­ing power of pub­lic lands, see page 54.)

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