Former professional athletes and military veterans work together to heal through adventure sports
WESTPORT, CT (Nov. 8, 2017) — Outside TV, the leader in adventure-sports content, is proud to announce a brand-new pilot episode of “Heroes in the Wild,” exclusive to OutsideTV.com and their free app Outside TV Features. The new show follows one military veteran and one former professional athlete paired up to embark on an adventure to test their skill and perseverance. Each duo will travel to remote locations for a sport that they share a passion for, from skiing to mountaineering to surfing and more. Over the course of each episode, the athletes and veterans will learn about each other, their past tribulations and their future challenges while bonding over an outdoor pursuit that they come to love — or are willing to try for the first time.
The show concept was born from observing the positive results and camaraderie facilitated by the nonprofit organization After the Impact Fund (ATIF), a foundation for military veterans and former professional athletes facing the challenges of traumatic injuries and acclimating to civilian life after the end of their demanding careers. With a similar objective, “Heroes in the Wild” teams up military veterans with former athletes who are curious about each other’s past experiences and future plans. The philosophy is that both professional sports players and the military train together, play together and win and lose together; it only makes sense that they heal together.
Episode 1 introduces two ATIF board members — former Army Special Forces Green Beret and Bronze Star medal recipient Art Pue and 15-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl XLVII champion Matt Birk — to a canyoneering experience in Moab. In a demonstration of the respect and brotherhood for which both professions are best known, each man dedicates his challenge to a compatriot who can no longer enjoy the transformative healing power of the outdoors. Their reliance on each other to rappel, hike and explore eastern Utah’s breathtaking arches drives home their shared commitment to a brighter, supported future for members of the military and professional sports.
“Whether it’s defending this country or entertaining millions of Americans on Sundays, we have brothers and sisters who have suffered traumatic injuries, who are really hurting every single day just to survive. It doesn’t just affect their lives, but it affects their families as well. We just want to be out here to one, honor them, and two, to raise awareness for After the Impact Fund so we can give our heroes hope and give them the help they need so they can heal and become better,” says Birk.
“Through ‘HITW’ I got to pay tribute to one of my real-life heroes, O.J. Brigance, while being on an exciting adventure that got me out of my comfort zone,” he continues. “To me, O.J. symbolizes what a man should be: caring husband, loving father, leader and courageous. He has given me so much. I wanted to do something to let him know that I appreciate and love him.”
Pue used his appearance in the premiere episode as a vehicle to pay homage to a fallen member of the Special Forces. “I honored my friend and fellow Green Beret Chris Falkel in my adventure with ‘Heroes in the Wild.’ Chris paid the ultimate price in defense of this country and all that we stand for. By providing healing for our veterans and athletes, I believe I’m helping to finish the mission Chris started.”
To support After the Impact Fund, the NFL awarded a grant to the foundation. “ATIF is honored to receive a grant from the NFL, based on its exemplary work with U.S. service members, veterans and their families,” says Shannon Jordan, Executive Director. “The NFL is committed to giving back to the military community through its year-long Salute to Service campaign. This grant will enable ATIF to further its mission to help our nation’s heroes.”
“Heroes in the Wild” will be streaming for free beginning Nov. 8 only on OutsideTV.com and their free app Outside TV Features, as well as, available on Outside TV at a later date.
About Outside TV
Outside TV is the leading multi-platform video provider for the adventure sports and lifestyle category. Originated from the critically acclaimed Outside Magazine, Outside TV delivers high-quality, compelling storylines focused on a wide variety of adventure-lifestyle sports, including skiing and snowboarding, surfing, climbing, mountain biking, sailing and more. Outside TV’s Emmy Award–winning content is distributed through a variety of platforms, including national cable, satellite and OTT providers, OutsideTV.com, social media and the recently launched subscription on-demand app, Outside TV Features. Outside TV Features is the premier collection of adventure-sports films, series and shorts and is available everywhere for download.
About After the Impact Fund (ATIF)
After the Impact Fund facilitates custom treatment plans for veterans and athletes with traumatic injuries. Whether on the field of play or the battlefield, every hit takes a toll, and many end their careers suffering in silence. But through its vetted resources, ATIF provides a clear path to healing for these individuals and their families. Bringing these communities together, its solutions remove or reduce symptoms, help mend relationships and provide a renewed sense of purpose.
Justina Rapala | FORTE MARE