‘Finding Soul River’: This Veteran Helps Others Get Outside

U.S. Navy veteran Chad Brown talks about his outdoor nonprofit, Soul River Inc., and how the outdoors saved his life.

There are lots of reasons people choose to get outside. For some, the reason has a deeper meaning, like healing from trauma. After returning home from two military deployments, Chad Brown was experiencing PTSD. And he was homeless.

After struggling with PTSD and depression, he founded Soul River Inc., a nonprofit to engage and connect veterans and youth through various outdoor experiences.

“We are a nonprofit focused on bringing veterans as mentors and inner city youth together into the wild rivers of nature. The hope is that it encourages youth participants to grow and become ambassadors of our natural environment,” reads Soul River’s mission.

In this video, Brown talks about how he copes and his passion for the outdoors. “Fly fishing is all about how you present yourself to the river,” he says. Brown is also a photographer and conservationist. He has a service dog named Axe.

You can learn more about Soul River Inc. here.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.