Often when service men and women return home from a long military deployment, they can have a sense of feeling lost being back stateside.
Many troops believe they still have plenty of unfinished business "over-there," extending years down the line after their return. In the interim, they can be found struggling with various forms of depression.
Many veterans seek counseling, but one former Army captain found relief by revisiting the place that caused him so much anxiety — Iraq.
"We all have to ultimately take care of our own healing process and so that's where I wanted to go back," Iraq veteran and former Army Capt. Stacy Bare says.
U.S. Army captain, Iraq veteran, and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Stacy Bare smiles bright while on his cathartic journey. (Source: Adventure Not War/Screenshot)
In February 2017, Bare, CEO of Combat Flip Flops and Army Ranger Matthew Griffin, and former helicopter pilot Robin Brown embarked on a ski ascent and descent from Mt. Halgurd — the tallest mountain in Iraq — to the hallowed battlegrounds from which Bare once served.
This incredible journey of healing spawned filmmaker Max Lowe to create the compelling documentary Adventure Not War.
CEO of Combat Flip Flops Matthew "Griff" Griffen takes a moment of a photo op during his travels in the documentary.(Source: Adventure Not War/Screenshot)
This film shows a rarely seen beauty in a location known for devastation. For Bare, it created a stable place for healing wounds that are deeper than those seen on the surface.
During their two-week journey, Stacy, Robin, and Matthew traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan to work alongside the non-profit Tent Ed, providing educational resources to children displaced by war.
Check out the Stept Studios' video below to witness how these three brave veterans ventured back to Iraq and revisit the various places in which many Americans used to fight.