Iraq veteran documents her return trip to war-torn nation in CMU presentation

Iraq veteran documents her return trip to war-torn nation in CMU presentation

Robin Brown of Grand Junction visited these children in a refugee camp in Kurdistan called Sharya, as she and other veterans with Adventure Not War helped build a shelter for their school.

The morning after Robin Brown returned to the country where she once had been shot down, she wondered what she was doing back there for a third time.

After two tours serving in Iraq and commanding an attack helicopter company, she left that place and tried to leave the bad memories, the fear and the losses behind. She rejoined her husband, Jason, a fellow Army veteran and helicopter pilot, had two children and moved to Grand Junction in 2010, where she now owns her own public-relations firm.

So when she was invited to come back to Iraq, the place she last left just thankful to be alive, she didn’t exactly jump at the chance.

The invitation came from Army veteran Stacy Bare, who has an organization called Adventure Not War, who Brown had connected with at the state outdoor industry conference. The last-minute invite came only a month before the trip to Kurdistan, a region in northern Iraq, and the trip included the challenge of hiking up and skiing down Mount Halgurd, the highest peak in the country.

Their trip had several purposes: to give publicity to Mount Halgurd National Park and the beginnings of the ski industry in Kurdistan, to help another veteran-run nonprofit called TentEd build a shelter for a school in a Kurdish refugee camp, to document the trip for a film and connect Brown and the other veterans with the people and places they hoped were doing better than when they left them.

She said yes, and a month later, there she was, with Bare, a former Army Ranger named Matt Griffin, plus a camera crew and a guide. The first morning…

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