Places of Peace: Video of Veterans in the Wilderness

Candice Gaukel Andrews August 7, 2014 3

In a film by Brian Mockenhaupt, veteran Josh Brandon describes the peace he and fellow soldiers find in wild places. ©From the video “Full Ruck,” Brian Mockenhaupt

From the moment I read John Muir’s sentiment about going to the mountains—that “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, overcivilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”―I have tried to do just that at least once a year. Although I’m not a climber by any means, simply getting this flatlander in the vicinity of snowcapped peaks, even if it is only to look at them from below, is restoring to my spirit.

Veterans of recent wars are also finding peace in the wilderness after their military tours of duty. The video below contains an inspirational story about the healing power of wild, remote places. Company commander Josh Brandon and some of his lieutenants taught themselves to climb and found the activity to be better than any kind of medication or therapy they had previously tried. Since then, the mountains have become Josh’s home. He now runs the Sierra Club’s Military Outdoors program.

I hope you find the mountains—and this video—just as inspirational.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,




  1. Mike Ball August 13, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

    This is an important subject for us today and a fine example of how social issues and environmental sustainability can go work so well together. Climbing, and the top echelons of motor sports, are possibly the closest civilian activities to combat that can be participated in. With climbing however there is the added dimensional advantage of the spiritual element, plus that it instills into particpants a cause – that of environmentalism. I would like to add further an additional idea, that of former adversaries finding peace in the mountains together and bringing their strength, bravery and leadership to a cause that matters to everyone on this planet, preserving our beautiful environments so that the next generations can live their lives in un-blighted environments and find peace and beauty in nature there too.

  2. Teresa Lees August 9, 2014 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Wow, this was very powerful to watch and gives such a deeply felt message. I certainly felt very moved watching this.

  3. Thomas Sawyer August 8, 2014 at 5:40 am - Reply

    I loved this!

Leave A Response »