September 24, 2021
Veterans Back 40 Adventure is a non-profit organization, founded under Warfighter Outfitters.
The organization goes on outdoor adventures like kayaking, dirt biking, and even ski trips.
Founder, Morgan Northrup, served in the United States Army Aviation Branch for just under six years. He was based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. When he founded the organization, he wanted to honor the time he served.
“Back 40 is the training area of Fort Campbell. I used to ride dirt bikes back there and when I got out of the military that is where I got all the inspiration to start this up.”
He wanted to help his brothers and sisters who might be struggling with adapting to life as a civilian.
“I needed something that people could get off the couch and get outdoors. I was going to some other non-profits and I thought we need aftercare. What do our participants do after the program. I wanted to build a community. They can continue to keep coming to our programs.”
While the organization caters to veterans and their families, Northrup said they've welcomed some civilians. He thinks they're just as important to the organization as the veterans.
“It opens their eyes to what we are doing as an organization, but also that they’re helping their veterans by being there. Sometimes we have a hard time associating with civilians because they just don’t get it so we’re bridging the gap.”
Even though Northrup knows a veteran might not feel comfortable sharing how the organization is impacting them, he knows it's having a positive effect.
“When we see veterans come back to our events, we know it’s doing something. When you’re by yourself, you just get in your head. That’s where the issues come. When they’re outside with other veterans, you see the action taking place.”
Northrup recently took veterans and their families on a kayaking trip along the Red River in Tennessee.
“I thought it would be best to find out what the community likes to do outdoors. I found out everyone loves kayaking here.”
There was limited cell service along the trip so they turned to handheld radios. The group used the X-Talker T51X3VP3 Walkie Talkies.
While on the trip the radios played an integral role in rescuing a few participants.
A family flipped out of their canoe.
"The radios were our lifeline. We said, 'Hey we have a family out of a canoe.' They were kind of in a whirlpool. Everyone knew what was going on because of the radios. One of our group members was formerly a medic in the Army. I turn around and he's diving in."
Northrup said everyone was okay, but credits the handheld radios for making a difference.
"We were able to act fast. The radios were such an important item for us to have with us."