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Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains Trip - March 11-19

What is Veteran Adventures?

Veteran Adventures is a veterans program started by the SIU Touch of Nature Environmental Center and SIU Veteran Services which aims to accomplish the following:

  • Community building for veterans and current military personnel
  • Present challenging and adventurous opportunities to strengthen bonds between veterans and current military personnel
  • Show support and gratitude for the sacrifice that our servicemen and women have made
  • Provide veterans and current military personnel with alternatives for mental health assistance without the stigma of traditional mental health avenues
  • Foster a healthier veteran population

Who can participate in Veteran Adventures?

Veteran Adventures is open to all Post 9/11 veterans, student veterans, and members of the National Guard, the Reserves and the Registered Officers' Training Corps.

This Able Veteran Logo indicating SIU Carbondale is a Military Times Best for Vets School Military Friendly School 2015 Logo

The video below tells you more about our Veteran Adventures Program.  Also, Veteran Adventures is currently holding a SalukiFunder.  Please show your support by going to  

Veteran Adventure's Mission

SIU Veteran Adventures’ mission is to ease the transition from military life to civilian life for veterans.

Support Veteran Adventures:  

View our Sponsorship Brochure below, then click here to support the Veteran Adventures Program.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 

great smoky mountains

Register online here.

Spring Break: March 11-19:  Only $50

This trip will take student veterans on an eight-day backpacking trip to Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  

This eight-day backpacking trip takes veterans into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains as they move by foot along a 60-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail.  While on the trail, participants will explore the mountains and streams of some of the east's most wild and beautiful places.

On day one, veterans will meet up at Touch of Nature Environmental Center. Here at basecamp, participants will meet their crew comprised of other veterans and service members. After introductions and gear are issued, participants will load up the van and head east to the Smoky Mountains.

Once on the trail, participants will learn skills in backcountry living and travel. Each day allows an opportunity for physical challenges, as well as ample time to reflect and relate on past experiences. The group will carry all food and necessary supplies for the duration of the trip on their back.

Participants should expect to be “unplugged” for the duration of their time on the trail - no television, no phones and no electronics. Participants should arrive ready to commit their time and energy to their crew and the expedition. 

Informational meeting:  Find out more information about the Smoky Mountains trip at the following times:

  • Wednesday, March 1 at 6 p.m. in the DeJarnett American Heritage Room on the 3rd floor of SIU's Morris Library.  

For more information, please contact Shane Brady at 618/453-1121 or by email at