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How the Grand Canyon United These Veterans

In The Long River Home, filmmaker Seth Dahl follows three disabled kayakers—Lonnie Bedwell, Aaron Howell, and Russell Davies—as they overcome their individual challenges while navigating through the Grand Canyon. The full film can be seen on the Banff Mountain Film World Tour in a city near you.

Video Transcript

AARON HOWELL: I would drift back and think about what had just occurred. You know, why me? Why did this happen? But it was really a forward focus. Those were just momentary thoughts that I think any person would have in a situation like that. 

[MUSIC PLAYING] 

This is the biggest challenge I've ever faced. 

LONNIE BEDWELL: I feel the water, on one hand it's trying to defeat you. On the other hand it's showing you a way. And to try to listen to what it's giving you, and where is the crashing waves at, it is so much like life. 

[MUSIC PLAYING] 

RUSSELL DAVIES: The thrill and the rush of it is something that is ingrained in us from being soldiers. As veterans you have that inside, you know. You shouldn't close it off. You got to explore your options. And you realize, like, this is who you are now. 

AARON HOWELL: Lonnie is-- he's a fighter for sure. He lost his eyesight over 20 years ago. 

LONNIE BEDWELL: If someone shows you a light, a path out, step forward and take it. 

[SHOUTING] 

AARON HOWELL: WHOO! [INAUDIBLE] Let's go! 

[SHOUTING] 

LONNIE BEDWELL: These guys, why they do it for me, I don't know. But I'm so freaking grateful. 

Adaptive Recreation