State Award

The State Awards recognize individuals who have made compelling and significant contributions to the trails movement in their home states.

 

Virginia: Sean Gobin

Gobin and Warrior Expeditions have successfully taken the spirit of what Earl Shaffer was talking about when he declared he was going to “walk off the war,” and extended that opportunity to those who, for either physical and financial limitations, would otherwise never be able to undertake it.

In 1948 Earl Shaffer became the first person to ever hike the length of the Appalachian Trail because he, in his own words, intended to “walk off the war.” Over 60 years later, Marine Corps veteran Sean Gobin was inspired to walk the same trail when he returned from deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan in 2012. The long distance trail had a therapeutic effect on Gobin that he knew other veterans would benefit from. By 2013, just one year after completing the hike himself, Gobin had founded Warrior Expeditions with the express purpose of giving other returning warriors the same opportunity he had. Gobin and Warrior Expeditions have successfully taken the spirit of what Earl Shaffer was talking about when he declared he was going to “walk off the war,” and extended that opportunity to those who, for either physical and financial limitations, would otherwise never be able to undertake it. Trails have been used as therapy for as long as trails have existed, and by thinking outside of the box and incorporating multiple kinds of trails and maintaining an adaptable philosophy, Warrior Expeditions help 40 veterans a year take time out from the world and use trails to find their way home.

707 views • posted 05/01/2019