Grand Canyon Outtasight Guide
Russell Davies was born in Pocatello, Idaho and joined the military at age 18. He served 5 years active with the 101st C.co 3-187th INF REGT Rakkasan’s overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russell was awarded an Army Commendation medal with Valor and received a purple heart.
At 23, Russell returned to pocatello and moved to White Salmon,Wa where he started kayaking competitively. Russel has kayaked all over the US as well as in Chile, New Zealand and Thailand! Russell met Lonnie at a TRR event in 2016 in Montana and has been paddling with him ever since!
Russell is also the Ceo/president of Professional Transformation Sports Development (PTSD) a nonprofit 501c3. PTSD hopes to educate veterans on how to overcome P.T.S.D. and/or depression through engagement in the outdoor sport of their choosing alongside other veterans who share a similar passion.
Russell's thoughts on the trip!
Being a guide on this trip means a great deal to me. When I returned home from service, I struggled from the chaos of war and trying to find what else life had in store for me. I turned my attention toward whitewater kayaking which allowed me to move on with a new found passion in life. Kayaking allowed me to travel the world and let go of my past. However, when a close friend that I grew up with took his own life after struggling with post traumatic stress disorder from his prior military service, it inspired me to act. I created a nonprofit called Professional Transformation Sports development (PTSD), which gives veterans the opportunity to take a two week, fully funded introduction course to one of the following: kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, or skiing/snowboarding. We also donate all the necessary gear to veterans after completing our course so they may confidently continue their new found passion in life. Our goal is to help reduce the staggering number of veteran suicides that plague our military men and women.
Team River Runner is an amazing program with a similar goal. I’ve dedicated my life to helping veterans, so when Lonnie Bedwell, a blind whitewater kayaker, approached me about helping out with grand canyon trips designed to take wounded vets through 14 days of amazing whitewater kayaking, I jumped at the opportunity. Whitewater kayaking and extreme outdoor sports helped me drastically, and I know it can help so many other veterans. I’m always 100% on board to help other veterans accomplish their own goals and dreams. This is why I volunteer to help Team River Runner with their mission.