Brian Harris

My name is Brian Harris .
I am 39 years old, and I am blind and a right below the knee amputee. I was given the opportunity to be a part of the outtasight clinic. I knew the clinic was doing kayaking and I had no experience in that, but I was eager to learn. I was amazed that in seven days by the way I picked up kayaking. I learned how to ferry, forward stroke, backstroke, do a T rescue, how to do an emergency rescue, and how to balance myself. In the process of doing an emergency rescue my water prosthetic and up getting stuck in the boat, but to my surprise they had a custom built socket for me to enjoy the experience.

I was amazed about how many volunteers were eager to help us to make this thing a success. I learned how to kayak on class one class two and class III waves in Montana by going down the Yellowstone River. I was then invited participate in the kayak football tournament in Ohio.
I was amazed how much I’ve learned in the short time frame. When I was told we were doing Kayak football I had no idea that it would be so much fun! I think Team River Runner does a  fantastic job by getting the veterans out and nature, and letting them know that anything is possible!

Vanessa Jones

Committe Co-Chair

Vanessa A. Jones is a dynamic force dedicated to fostering
inclusivity, encouraging discussion, and promoting a culture of
belonging in the outdoor sports community. Hailing from
Washington, DC, she brings a wealth of diverse experiences and
perspectives to her endeavors.
As a US Army veteran and ordained Chaplain with a focus on
seniors and caretakers, Vanessa is deeply committed to serving
others. Her work as a patient-caretaker advocate reflects her
passion for supporting vulnerable populations and ensuring their
voices are heard.
Currently, Vanessa is employed by a resettlement agency, where
she confronts challenges head-on with resilience and
compassion. As a single, Black woman veteran, she embraces
the unique hurdles she faces, viewing them as opportunities for
growth and empowerment.
In her downtime, she wears many hats, including that of a
missionary, spreading hope and positivity wherever she goes.
Weekends are spent paddling, immersing herself in West African
dance and finding solace and joy in nature’s embrace.
Vanessa is committed to equitable principles, ensuring that
everyone’s opinions are valued and heard. Through her
unwavering dedication and inclusive leadership, Vanessa is
paving the way for a more equitable and diverse outdoor sports