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Raytheon and No Barriers Warriors are helping wounded warriors improve their lives

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Tucson - No Barriers USA and the Raytheon community are hosting the "Walk with the Warriors" 5K walk on Sunday, November 5th to support the "No Barriers Warriors" program. 

The program is designed to help improve the lives of veterans with disabilities through curriculum-based experiences in challenging environments.

These expeditions are cost-free to the veteran, helping people like Vance Combs, a US Veteran and No Barriers Warrior who said,  "That trip with No Barriers that Raytheon put us through, made a big difference in a lot of us." 

Combs is an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq. 11 years ago a roadside bomb nearly killed him. "And I was in the turret of a HUMVEE and it blew up about six and a half feet from me," Combs said.

He was seriously injured but Combs felt  lucky to be alive, "Oh I know I am, blessed, yea it should have killed me." 

Combs came back from a war zone to fight another battle, a fight he wasn't prepared for, "mentally,  I fell in a hole. I allowed myself to get out of shape, I allowed my health to go down. "I allowed the label and the stigmatism of being disabled to disable me. And I had to stop that," said Combs.

Combs's sister, who works at Raytheon, nominated him to join other wounded warriors on a challenging hiking and rafting expedition to the Grand Canyon.

Combs lost 60 pounds to prepare for the trip and he ignored anyone who doubted him. "You've got this physical injury, you can't do this. Well, you've got this mental, psychological,  disability from a brain injury you can't do that. I'm not listening," Combs said.

Combs says he and the other wounded warriors had an amazing time, bonding, and pushing themselves beyond the imaginary barriers that once stopped them cold. "That trip with no barriers that Raytheon put through, it made a big difference in a lot of us."

A life-changing adventure that helped Combs find a new focus on the future. "Every day that I don't take a step forward I'm falling backward and I'm not falling backward anymore. We're moving forward."

The next step forward for Combs is to pursue a 20-year dream. He's going to the U of A to become a lawyer. 

For more information on Saturday's "Walk with the Warriors", you can click here.
 

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