Current Events

Title:No Barriers Warriors seeks Veterans with disabilities for 2023 backcountry expeditions

Author:Mike Smith

Date:February 2023

Source:U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 196

No Barriers Warriors, an offshoot of the Veterans organization No Barriers USA, will open an application period to launch its 2023 program season on February 1.

In 2023, No Barriers Warriors will have several programs for Veterans with disabilities: basecamp experiences in Red Feather, Colorado, and backcountry expeditions in the northern Colorado Rockies and the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina.

No Barriers Warrior programs help Veterans with service-connected disabilities to redefine their identity, purpose and community as they face past and present challenges. The programs run by No Barriers Warriors challenge Veterans to critically think about where they are in life, where they want to be and how to get there. The backcountry expeditions and basecamp experiences give them new tools, strategies and the drive to overcome the barriers that are holding them back, as well as a new support team that will be with them throughout the program and beyond.

The basecamp experiences are "as accessible as possible"

Each expedition or basecamp experience begins at Phase 1: two online meetings to introduce Veterans to their new teammates and a review of the basics of No Barriers Life.

Phase 2 consists of the basecamp experience or backcountry expedition. For basecamps, Veterans stay at the No Barriers mountain campus and participate in activities like hiking, rock climbing, fly-fishing, the challenge course and whitewater rafting.

"We've made the basecamp experience as accessible as possible," says Michael Smith, the program manager of No Barriers Warriors and a Veteran of the post-9/11 conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The backcountry expeditions are more physically demanding backpacking trips that cover 12 miles over three to four days. They take place in the wilderness far off the beaten path and require Veterans to push themselves and rely on their team to complete intense, multi-day backcountry missions. Finally, the Veterans can participate in a Phase 3, which teams Veterans with volunteer coaches who assist them in continuing their journey of change.

The 2023 program season features three basecamp experiences: July 6 to 12, August 1 to 5 and September 6 to 10. The Rocky Mountain Backcountry Expeditions will be held July 13 to 18 and July 24 to 29, and the Smoky Mountains Backcountry Expeditions are scheduled for September 6 to 10, September 13 to 17, September 20 to 24, September 27 to October 1, October 4 to 8 and October 11 to 15. Applications will be available on the No Barriers Warriors website beginning February 1.

Veterans and anyone else with questions can contact No Barriers Warriors through its website. You can also email or or call 970-484-3633.

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