Joplin nature hike aimed at providing a soothing experience for combat veterans

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JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — What better way to get back to nature than a hike along one of the Four States most popular trails.

For a group of area men, it was as much for their souls as it was for their hearts.

They may not look any different than most other people enjoying a stroll along the Wildcat Glades Trail in Joplin, but each have one thing in common: They’re combat veterans.

“Share some stories and that’s one of the things we did today. We talked about our military experiences, myself and a couple fellow veterans, one of them from the Army and another one from the Air Force. And we’re all combat vets, so it was great to just get out and talk and share some time together and build a little camaraderie,” said Ted Donaldson, Director of the Compass Quest Veterans Advocacy Group.

The men are taking part in a Veterans Volksmarch, which is German for “The People’s Walk.”

“Just kind of get out and kind of look at some nice scenery and just spend it with some people who, you know, share the same kind of history as you and are a little more relatable than maybe people who have only lived a civilian existence,” said David Honey, Air Force Veteran.

Organizers hope that this becomes a frequent activity and it’s open to veterans from any branch of the service.

This type of gathering is ideal for veterans who are new to the area and may not know what services are available.

“Find some people to talk to, people who know a little bit more about the area. It’s a great networking opportunity for sure,” said Honey.

If you’re a veteran in the area and would like to take part in the next Volksmarch, you can get in touch with Compass Quest through this link.

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