Testimonials from Canyon Heroes Participants and Therapists

Canyon Heroes, once again I would like to let you what a profound life changing experience the trip was for me. I still keep in touch with a few of the other Vets. It’s good to have a common bond. I don’t know why you started the organization but Canyon Heroes has made a difference in many lives with their actions. I view what you do as a great kindness, so if I can again indulge you with a quote: “Kindness in words creates confidence; Kindness in thinking creates profoundness; Kindness in giving creates love”. – Lao Tzu. Many people talk, many people think, but few people act. Thank you Canyon Heroes for being an organization of action. Thanks again.
Brent G. 2/11/15

Testimony from 2014 rafting participant: I have made many changes over the last year. I have decided not to be the victim any longer and to make positive changes for me and my kiddo. I have decided that having a voice is more powerful than being a people pleaser. I have been programmed to be as a lower enlisted soldier at such a young age…over the past year my counseling has opened up doors I have closed for more than 15 years and I think my trip to the Canyon has had much to do with it. Thank you.

2015 trip: I have been on a waiting list for a year and a half. I always knew I needed this to help me move forward. When I received the call I virtually dropped to my knees. I know what a privilege being on this trip is, and I have soaked up every minute and will never forget the people and this place that have impacted my life. Looking back, waiting that year and a half was worth it.

2015 trip: As this comes to an end my heart feels heavy. I tried not to get emotional during the closing ceremony. There are horrible experiences in life that always seem to haunt you, but when something like this comes along it puts everything into perspective. There is such beauty and good people in the world, it can change the way you think. That is what I am taking away from this, the beauty and the good.

2015 trip: I never though that one week could have such an impact, to be really healing. But it was. When I first walked over to the boats, met the crew, veterans, civilians, saw the river and the rocks, I knew from that moment that this was going to be something special.

2015 trip: When I got home and tried to tell people how this trip went, I don’t think I can put it into words. I have a sense of passion and renewal. There were times on the River when we were just floating, and it was silent. I looked around and noticed that everyone was just soaking it in. A mile below the rim of the Canyon, all we saw was beauty. How can you not be affected by that? I sure was.

2015 trip: Thank you so much for everything. The trip was amazing and really had an impact on me. Much love, Mike

2015 trip: I really didn’t know what to expect when I signed up. This has exceeded all of my expectations. I have met some of the most incredible veterans from around the country that I will never forget; they have each made an impact on me. This has been an incredible journey and I feel there has been so much positive influence that I can’t help to be excited to apply it to my own life.

2015 trip: I left the trip having been refreshingly humbled [by the Canyon, by our fellow vets and by the gift of the trip.] It seems that the best way I can say thank you is to provide feedback and I want to offer more.

2015 trip: Talk about bucket list! I have been all over the world during my many tours; I have seen some beautiful places but nothing like this. I cannot believe the beauty and healing power of this magnificent place that is in our backyard. I will be forever changed by this experience.

2015 trip: Bonded for life with fellow veterans and civilians. I hope to keep in contact with them, just like you bond serving your country. So many perspectives and stories. It was great to meet vets from different conflicts. Especially the “Vietnam crew”, if they can do it so can we!

2015 trip: I am really impressed with the group of people that were selected. We all seemed to come together and bond almost instantly. Everyone was accepted, even the civilians on the trip. Not only were the surroundings great, it was the people that made it exceptional. Veterans, civilians, crew…we all seemed to just gravitate to one another. That is what I really take away from this.

2015 trip: Just wanted to send you a note of thanks expressing my profound gratitude for the gift you have given to me and all those on our trip with your vision. The journey was profound for many and a tremendous privilege to be a part of. I look forward to meeting you sometime in the near future to thank you in person, but until then, thank you and bravo to you and all you have done to create the conditions for incredible healing to occur.

2015 trip: It just opened my eyes. I walked away with one of the most positive outlooks and I thought, “There is life after this other stuff.”

2015 trip: I’ve never felt so at home in my entire life and I have never had such an amazing time in such an amazing place. To be able to stand in a waterfall, that’s what it is about. I don’t need to take pills and feel sorry for myself. I need to enjoy this beautiful land I fought for and just be the best version of myself. My wife this morning said, “I’m glad I have my best friend back!”

2015 trip-From the wife of a veteran: “We’re going to be married 45 years…and I think this is the happiest I have ever seen him. When I see him happy lie that, it makes me happy.”

2015 trip: I definitely learned not to take life for granted and it was very humbling. It showed me a new appreciation for life.

2015 trip: My main focus in telling my story is to get the word out about this amazing trip that can potentially heal other veterans.

2015 trip: This brought more balance to my life. Just seeing it takes you away; while you are there you forget what day it is. I’d rather be there than in the richest mansion in the world.

2015 trip: When I got around this group it felt like being at home. I was coming home with this group. It really meant a lot to me.

Feedback from 2014 trip: Before the trip I was kind of pushing things away that I went through. After going on the trip and meeting with not just the veterans, but also the counselors…I got to talk things through and see things in a different way. You’re out in nature, you’re not restricted to four walls. Canyon Heroes is making a difference in the lives of veterans.

2017 Trip: Since coming back, I have had a new found confidence that I haven’t felt since before I deployed. I feel braver and more capable of handling life’s challenges. I feel less afraid. I also feel so secure, like I just spent a week surrounded by a big, loving, quirky family. Even though I didn’t know the veterans on the trip, I immediately felt like I had come home and like they were family. I haven’t felt this level of comfort and ease amongst such a large group of people in a very long time. I knew we all had each other’s backs. Thank you for a life changing experience. I am in deep gratitude to you.

2017 Trip: That was the most inward spiritual experience I have ever had. I have yet to discover what all happened to me in the canyon but my mind is in a state of awe. My soul is at peace beyond anything imagined. I am walking around noticing I am not scared and full of fear as I usually am. I am just in a state of amazement, fighting back the tears. My heart has been renewed. My gratitude is so heartfelt,. thank you for including me on such an amazing experience and thank you for sending such amazing people to watch over us as we awaken a part of all of us that has been missing for so long.

2017 Trip: Thank you for all you have done to make this happen. So much healing from this experience I cannot explain. Gratitude does not express my feelings for what has happened inside me. . This was a very meaningful trip for me. Not only was it fun and relaxing, but it gave me the opportunity to work through many issues related to PTSD, in a way in which I can’t do inside the 4 walls of a therapists office. Being immersed in nature, in incredible beauty, allowed my mind and my sensory system a chance to rest and re set. Since being home I am less anxious and have fewer angry outbursts. My family and work life have improved. I so appreciate the time and effort of the supporters and hope this program will continue. Thank you!

2017 Trip: This has been a life changing adventure & the coolest thing I’ve ever done & probably ever will do. This would only be a dream for me if not for you and your foundation. This is by far the best medicine I’ve ever taken. This experience had brought value back into my life. I came back to Colorado as a born again man with confidence like none other. I know that I will be thinking about this for the rest of my life. Also, I made friends that I will cherish. Thank you Canyon Heroes and God Bless!
Paul C.

I express my immense gratitude for an unforgettable trip of a lifetime. For over 20 years my dream was to go to the South rim and take in the Grand Canyon’s majestic view. The time in 2017 Trip: Marble Canyon and the Grand Canyon was an incredible immersion in nature. The sights and sounds of the canyons were incredible. The colors of the canyon walls towering above us, the serenity of quiet calm waters, the sounds of the delightful rapids, Big horn sheep resting along the river, the flash of lightening, the smell of the desert after a rain storm, the night sky with all the stars and the stripe of the Milky Way Galaxy. The wonderful hikes to incredible waterfalls and other great sights along the way, the immense knowledge of our guides about the early trips down the mighty Colorado River. Getting to quickly explore Phantom Ranch and excellent shower at Bar 10 Ranch. It is also a saddening moment, knowing that the tremendous time in nature was coming to a close. Thank you for the incredible journey, your generous donors who made it possible and for your team of putting it all together.
SSG (Ret.), US Army Veteran (Desert Storm)

2017 Trip: I cannot express the gratitude that I have to everyone that was a part of making these trips a reality for me. It gave me the courage to realize that I could do anything that I put my mind to. I never realized that something like this would make such an impact on my life. I found myself on the waters of the Grand Canyon again. Not only did I find myself I gained lifelong friendships and people I can call family. Thank you again!!! I recommend this experience to every veteran who feels that a piece of them is missing. Being around veterans who I have so much in common with has shown me that I am not alone and it has given me the strength to begin taking care of myself mentally again so that I can begin to find myself in my everyday life. I feel like this once in a lifetime trip has given me a new beginning. I can never repay you for what you have given me and many others past and future.
Tami, USMC

2017 Trip: I wanted to take a brief moment and thank you and the rest of the Canyon Heroes organization for the outstanding trip, it really changed my life. Being around other veterans and having the time to sit and think about things, really working through issues, in such a beautiful location was a true life saver. I faced some personal demons on the trip, overcame fears, and worked through some issues I was facing in my personal life, and honestly feel that the time with other veterans with the ability and freedom to reflect will have an everlasting positive impact on me and my family. I want to thank you again for all you do for veterans, I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience such an amazing adventure!