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Paddle for Patriots

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Raised toward our $25,000 Goal
287 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on September 07, at 11:59 PM CDT
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Paddle for Patriots

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Paddle for Patriots 

*Raise Awareness *Enlist Support *END veteran suicideGreg Nejmanowski

Hello! My name is Greg Nejmanowski. I'm an SIU alumnus, Touch of Nature graduate assistant and the Veteran Adventures coordinator. Starting May 24th, 2019, I will paddle down the entire length of the Mighty Mississippi River (2300+ miles) in an effort to raise awareness of and funds for Touch of Nature's Veteran Adventures program. Veteran groups will be paddling with me on sections of the river, and together we are calling this fundraiser Paddle for Patriots.

The Veteran Adventures' program recently lost an IL state grant which allowed us to offer life-changing and transformational expeditions and events free of charge to veterans. Since the loss of the grant, the program is now supported solely through fundraising and donations. To continue to offer these expeditions and events at the lowest possible costs for veterans, we need your support. Your donation is paramount! 

(Check out donor benefits below)



At Veteran Adventures our mission is to help military veterans transition to life at home through powerful wilderness expeditions and events that draw on the healing benefits of adventure and challenge in the outdoors; healing benefits that can help end veteran suicide

The program provides veterans with everything they need (free of charge) to participate. We provide participants with gear, food, shelter, transportation, and (when needed) professional instruction and leadership to successfully participate in expeditions and events.  

Importance: Military men and women are returning home facing entirely new battles. Professionals in the field are finding, "Long-distance outdoor expeditions are life changing and transformational for veterans. They are helping veterans re-find their purpose in life, increase their social functioning skills, and decrease anxiety and other PTSD symptoms" (Duvall & Kaplan, 2014).


Veteran Adventures Aims to Accomplish the Following:

  • Present challenging and adventurous opportunities to strengthen bonds.
  • Provide alternatives for mental health assistance without the stigma of traditional mental health avenues.
  • Provide community building.
  • Foster a healthier veteran population.
  • Show support and gratitude for the sacrifice our service members have made.


Our Goal

Ultimately, our goal is to support Veteran Adventures' continued success and growth into the future. Veteran Adventures strives to offer expeditions and events free of charge to veteran participants, and the program is currently funded solely through fundraising efforts and your donations

  • $25,000 supports Veteran Adventures for approximately one year. This includes:
    • A Veteran Adventures graduate assistantship. (this person serves as the coordinator)
    • Multiple expeditions and events (including but not limited to):
      • Multi-sport backpacking expedition
      • Whitewater rafting expedition
      • Annual deer and pheasant hunts
      • Veteran family & friend events



Corporate Sponsor Benefits (Click Here)


Important Dates/Events to Remember

Join Greg for support and celebration at the scheduled events listed below!


The Loading DockGrafton, IL

When: July 6th, 2pm- ???

Where: 401 Front St. Grafton, IL 62307 

  • By showing up to this event you can be entered to win a free "Discovery Flight".
  • Raffle tickets for a 2019 Wilderness Systems Pungo kayak will also be available here.
  • Fireworks show in the evening



St. Nicholas Landmark - Chester, IL 

When: July 13th, 12 pm- 3pm

Where: 111 Ferry Street, Chester, IL 62233

  •  Special visit from Rep. Terri Bryant
  • ​ Raffle winner for the free "Discovery   Flight" will be drawn.
  •  2019 Wilderness Systems Pungo   kayak package tickets will be available here.                                            


Everyone is welcome at these events. No invite required. Come celebrate and support veterans, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Mighty Mississippi!


Follow Us

Follow Paddle for Patriots down the Mighty Mississippi River through 10 states and 2300+ miles on our social media pages. Also, you can track Greg as he paddles down the Mississippi River on Spot Tracker map page:



Thank you for your support! Together, we can make an impact. Together, we can help END veteran suicide!

Choose a giving level



Pays for a portion of travel expenses.



Pays for 4 days of food for a veteran on a wilderness expedition.



Pays for a veteran to participate in our annual pheasant hunt or local wilderness expedition.



Pays for a veteran to participate in our annual veterans deer hunt or an out-of-state whitewater rafting trip.



Pays for a veteran to participate in a 9 day backpacking trip.



Pays for a veteran to participate in a 9 day canoeing trip to the Florida Everglades.


Four-star General

Pays for a veteran to participate in a 9 day mountaineering trip to Colorado. Donations more than $1000 please visit Donor Benefits (under description tab to your left).

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