Mat Talano- Salmon River Trip

In September of 2016 I was given an opportunity of a lifetime by going eighty five miles down the Salmon River in Idaho

The experience for me was a test of my current skills, to spend time with fellow veterans, see beautiful animals, scenery, and a must needed disconnect from the society I interact with day in, and day out.

In the trip, concepts came back to me that I have not given appreciation to in far too long. For example, I have had my downs in the last couple years but the accumulation of them are nowhere near the amount of great experiences I have been granted.

Going through the trip I came home revitalized, happier, and mentally stronger.

I want to give a special thank you to the many men, and women involved to making the trip 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