We weren't surprised that May's story about U.S. Marine Noah Pippin, who vanished in Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness ("Why Noah Went to the Woods," by Mark Sundeen), was a reader favorite. But we were stunned by how many of you sent email or commented online about how Pippin's struggles with military life and his disappearance touched you personally.
This was a beautifully written piece. Many stories don't suck me in, but once I started this one I had to finish. As for the Pippin family, hopefully they'll find the kind of peace Noah seemed to be searching for.
There is no mystery here: military personnel kill themselves every day, and they all exhibit strange behavior before their unfortunate end. With more than 6,000 military suicides every year, we need to ask ourselves: What are we doing wrong?
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
I am an Iraq veteran slated to deploy to Afghanistan soon. Sundeen's writing resonated the pain of Noah Pippin in my soul. A floor of memories came tumbling out, and I cried for a very long time. I like to think Noah is alive and well. Perhaps, just perhaps, he may read this one day.
Why do we continue to hunt for Noah when there's a chance he doesn't want to be found? For the simple reason that we are not sure. My son was a Marine, and Marines don't leave their own behind. If he is alive, then he need only tell us, and we will stand down. Until we find some evidence, we will continue searching.
ROSALIE PIPPIN, ONLINE
WHO'S GOT NEXT?
I read your 2012 Adventurers of the Year article ("Feat Fetishists," May) and was awestruck. I'd like to nominate a potential future Adventurer of the Year: sailor Matt Rutherford, who in April became the first to complete a solo nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas. In 309 days, he covered 27,000 miles, transited the Northwest Passage, sailed the Bering Sea, and braved Cape Horn, all without touching land.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
DON"T TAKE IT LYING DOWN
Yesterday I got the special bicycle insert in the May issue: road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, even a work bike, but not a single recumbent? I realize the uninformed think recumbents are slow tricycles intended for potbellied professors. But you might look beyond the conventional wisdom. Yes, I was once a university lecturer, and I have a bit of a belly. But my Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0 is a rocket.
STUDIO CITY, CALIFORNIA
I have a copy of the October 1987 Outside 10-anniversary Special Collector's Issue, and I wonder if you might be able to tell me how much it's worth
Curious, we tried auctioning off a copy on eBay, with proceeds going to feed the interns. Alas, it failed to sell. But if you want to contribute gear reviews or fitness tips to our 35th Anniversary issue, appearing in October, head to outsideonline.com/ultimateissue by June 29,
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