Local Marine Veteran Nominated Nationally as a Top 10 Hero for 2015

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Sean Gobin is a local marine veteran who runs the organization "Warrior Expeditions," a group that helps veterans acclimate to civilian life again through long hiking trips.

The work Gobin's organization has done earned him the nomination of "Top 10 Heroes of 2015" from CNN, an honor that Gobin is humbled by.

"It's been a real honor to be nominated. I am really excited about the recognition it's going to bring to the program," said Gobin. "Hopefully, it will result in additional support that we can use on the trails next year."

He said the idea for the organization came to him while he hiked the full 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail.

"When I got out of the Marines in 2012, I hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail," said Gobin. "It allowed me to work through what I had experienced, and I thought it would helps others too."

The program has helped 71 veterans to date. Veterans of the Iraq war, war in Afghanistan, and even veterans of the Vietnam War have taken part in "Warrior Expeditions."

Gobin said the veterans are not the only ones who benefit from the hikes.

"I've had a lot of their family members and spouses tell me that they were really happy to see the person that they knew actually come home again," said Gobin.

It's a feat that Gobin said is not easy.

"It's important for a veteran to come home, reconnect with family and friends, and enjoy life again," he said. "Without that ability to reconnect and enjoy life again, veterans suffer. This is why we have the suicide rates that we do, and such an epidemic problem with post traumatic stress disorder."

Gobin hopes to expand the program in the future to include other activities such as biking and paddling. He has already started up some of those programs in other locations.

"I want it to grow in each state," said Gobin. "And also to be adaptive for veterans who are seriously injured. The ones who don't have the capacity to hike 2,000 miles."

He is still in the running for CNN's "Hero of the Year," to vote for Gobin, click on the link alongside this story.



 
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