World

'Walking off the war'

Published 2:50 PM ET, Thu December 3, 2015
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01 CNN Hero Sean Gobin01 CNN Hero Sean Gobin
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Sean Gobin and his nonprofit support U.S. combat veterans as they "walk off the war" on the Appalachian Trail and other long-distance hikes throughout the country. John Nowak/CNN
Ranging from two to six months, these journeys give veterans a chance to connect with nature and work through their issues while enjoying the camaraderie and support of other war veterans. John Nowak/CNN
Gobin's nonprofit, Warrior Hike, supplies all the equipment and supplies they need. To date, more than 70 veterans have participated in the program. John Nowak/CNN
"Hiking the trail is like a reset button," Gobin said. "It helps you become a civilian again." John Nowak/CNN
Michelle, a U.S. Air Force combat veteran, completed Warrior Hike's trek on the Appalachian Trail this year before returning home to her young daughter. John Nowak/CNN
Gobin also organizes weekly trail town stops, where locals give the hikers a hot meal and a chance to take a shower and sleep in a real bed. John Nowak/CNN
Gobin (second from right) is a U.S. Marine tank commander who fought in Iraq in 2003 and 2005 and then in Afghanistan in 2011. John Nowak/CNN
Warrior Hike participants summit Mt. Katahadin in Maine after their six-month journey on the Appalachian Trail. John Nowak/CNN
Gobin: "No one else understands the struggles a veteran experiences when they come home like another veteran. To see that change that's happening in the veterans involved with Warrior Hike makes all the work worthwhile." John Nowak/CNN