As America wrestles with high rates of suicide among military personnel and veterans, outdoor programs have been offered up as a promising treatment. Dan Sidles seemed like the ideal candidate: an Iraq War vet who suffered from PTSD, he tried to find a renewed sense of purpose through climbing and mountaineering. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. Brian Mockenhaupt explores the final years of a tortured friend.
Once released, the formerly incarcerated face a daunting set of challenges—a job, a place to live, and, most urgently, breaking the cycle of bad friends and bad habits that can lead to more prison time. Now scientists and activists are asking whether nature may be essential to helping them build new lives.
Danger can be a thrill, but facing death is way overrated
When elite athletes like three-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh and daredevil spaceman Felix Baumgartner are in a slump, they go see Los Angeles sports psychologist Michael Gervais. Sometimes boosting your performance requires sitting on a couch.
Project Angel Thunder is the largest search-and-rescue exercise in the world, involving 1,700 pilots, commandos, and recovery specialists training in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico to save your ass in some impossibly bad situations. Embed Brian Mockenhaupt discovers that while the scenarios are pure fiction, the game is deadly serious.
Professional daredevils Rex and Melissa Pemberton were drawn together by a mutual passion for risk and adrenaline. Now they have a marriage based on love, trust, and the strange, stoic acceptance that their life partner could die at any moment.
The U.S. military has always excelled at training soldiers, but they've had a tougher time helping them adjust to peace. The author joins 11 combat veterans in Nepal as they test the most promising new postwar therapy: adventure.
Now more than ever, the world could use some bright ideas. Like these.
In the rugged eastern provinces of Afghanistan, where peaks rise thousands of feet on all sides and the next valley is a world away, American troops are engaged in a kind of alpine warfare not seen for decades. Months can go by without combat, but when you're patrolling terrain as dangerous and unpredictable as the enemy, the calm is often shattered when you least expect it.