Australia has sadly lost approximately 60 service men and women through peacekeeping and war time operations since 1999 however a staggering 239 Australian soldiers have taken their lives since returning from conflict during the same period. Regrettably the battle is never really over when soldiers return home and it is the beginning of a new battle for many.

We are veterans

Our History

Being military and emergency service veterans ourselves we understand the complexities of life after service and that often there is no easy transition into life after service. The level of responsibility, excitement, trauma and stress that is experienced during service is almost incomparable to life outside however the ETX team have walked this walk before and found purpose through exploration and adventure travel. It has given the lads a grounding and direction that allowed the skills and experience learned from service to be applied in a similar and yet very different environment. We are always on the look out for opportunity to collaborate with or support fellow veterans to ease the transition into life outside.

We want veterans

Your Future

The transition from service to civilian life is challenging for all those making the change. Regardless of your previous role during service or the wounds you suffered it is the skills you  acquired through service that can be put to good use in the expedition industry. The Earth Trails team are actively involved in seeking out and either assisting or employing former service men and women as expedition leaders or assistants in the hope it will assist the transition and offer a new directional take on things as it did for the lads. Please check out our work for us page for more information.

The Issues

The Culture

Military and emergency service culture promotes emotional resilience, toughness, strength and camaraderie where mental illness is still viewed as a malingering weakness. While recent efforts to change this view are allowing more awareness to be created there are still inconsistencies in help-seeking behaviour and treatment responsiveness from this demographic. Recently two surveys indicated that over 80% of defence veterans and over 70% of Queensland based emergency service personnel said they felt ashamed or embarrassed about mental health problems. This needs to change.

The Stigma

Although the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the services has progressed towards a more accepting view, those who have served in the armed forces and emergency service are less inclined to seek help when they need it. The bravado nature of services causes a “suck it up” mentality to coexist thus creating a no-win situation for many current and ex-service people. To further complicate the issue many ex-service men and women disregard assistance by civilian mental health practitioners due to the lack of shared experience and therefore a lack of understanding.

The Challenge

Despite pragmatic support for the assistance methods outlined here on this page, recent evidence suggests that many veterans of either military or emergency service who are affected by PTSD are reluctant to seek treatment or engage in such programs in order to maintain a strong self-view. Unfortunately this is largely because there still exist a fear of prejudice in current or future work opportunities and this view needs to change.

How we can help

Earth Trails Expeditions are ex-service people and take adventure travel to the next level; we go places that the average traveller doesn’t and we explore places that are unmapped or uncharted. Simply, we give people a very real yet unexpected experience and the very nature of these expeditions encompasses a level of involvement from participants once felt from past service that is uplifting, engaging and refreshing. Our planning teams spend months on an expedition proposal and then work towards building trust based relationships with potentially vulnerable ex-servicemen and women through a uniquely tailored expedition plan designed to increase what is often a lost confidence and lack of future direction. These trips give the ex-service men and women something to work towards and complete whilst being guided and assisted by other ex-service men and women who understand what they have been through, and what they are experiencing.