We all know or are ourselves in various stages of a love/hate relationship with the Veterans Administration. And most of us know that the vast majority of the VA is staffed with dedicated doctors that truly want to help our veterans. But that like any huge bureaucracy, that help is often caught up in an endless sea of red tape.

And in that, the VA is often just using drugs as therapy rather than a holistic approach to cure rather than just treat the symptoms is…at times, infuriating. We’ve all been there. But there are other ways to treat our veterans.

One alternative method was tried by Hurricane Media’s Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL, and best-selling author. His idea was to bring several Special Operations veterans from various services and units together, bond them together in a challenging yet beautiful environment at Chamonix in the French Alps and use extreme sports and the outdoors as a way of healing the entire person and not just by using drug therapy.

Webb, Nick Betts, and Jason Kenitzer from Hurricane Media brought together these veterans and filmed their experiences in the Alps and put together the film, “Big Mountain Heroes”, which is now available on YouTube.

It is beautifully filmed with gorgeous shots of the French Alps, but arguably the best shots are the closeups of the vets themselves. Getting lost in the extreme adventure of conquering the difficulties of the mountains, the years of stress and physical pain are melted away, if only for a few days.

“Big Mountain Heroes” was recently awarded the award for Best Action Sports Short at the Mammoth Film Festival recently. We encourage all of our readers to check it out.

Will this kind of therapy work for everyone? Of course not. But it does show there are alternatives out there. As someone who is never truly happy unless he’s doing something worthwhile outdoors, I wish someone had been around to offer myself a chance at something like this when my service was done.

Originally published on Special Operations.com