Trek 4 Vets

Trek 4 Vets  is a non profit organistation with the mission to promote suicide awareness and prevention and also assist in finding homes for homeless veterans.

This page details the lead up training and donation details to my Kokoda Trail fundraiser in September.

My Story:
Founders of Trek 4 Vets, Dean Luland and Andrew Papadopoulos, have a vision where veterans are happy, they have roofs over their heads and have stable jobs and incomes to provide for their families and have smiles on their faces. Yet, half the places that he looks they find it hard to see just that. Everyday they see more and more Veterans struggling with reintegration into society. Over the duration of the Afghanistan campaign, Australia lost 41 brave soldiers, 6 of which were Dean’s close mates. Along with these numbers, we sustained 262 battle casualties. (Amputations, Fractures, Gun shot wounds, Hearing loss, Lacerations/contusions, Concussion/traumatic trekforvetsbrain injury, Penetrating fragments, and Multiple severe injuries.). Dean enlisted as a Combat Engineer in 2006, served 8 years and discharged from the Army in late 2013. In his time, he was lucky enough to deploy overseas to Afghanistan and Sumatra. In Sumatra, Dean was tasking in providing potable water for the local nationals. Between sighting spots to place the surf spear into the ocean to drag water into the water purifying equipment, he was removing deceased bodies from the ocean. In Afghanistan, Dean was deployed as a Combat Engineer Searcher and in a later deployment, a Search Team Commander, where his task was to provide mobility support to mounted and dismounted soldiers in the way of searching for and neutralising enemy Improvised Explosive Devices and also searching for enemy weapon and ammunition caches. One of Dean’s best mates, Jamie Larcombe, was KIA on the 19th February 2011 in Chalmerston Valley, Afghanistan.

On that day, Dean was standing beside Jamie when he was shot. Dean provided Jamie with first aid for over 30mins but unfortunately it wasn't enough. Shortly after, a Medical Helicopter arrived to take Jamie. Dean and his mates carried Jamie to the helicopter; he kissed him on the forehead, gave him one last hug and said his goodbyes to his best friend and brother. No person should ever have to experience what Dean alone experienced in his tours of the Middle East or South East Asia yet things like this are a part of war and unfortunately a lot more then him experienced trauma like this a lot on the Middle East and are expected to come home and continue on with their lives like nothing has happened. Unfortunately this is not the case for some; they turn to alcoholism, drugs, violence, and self-harm and for 49 others just this year alone - Suicide. Our mission is to promote suicide awareness & prevention for returned veterans and also try and assist in finding homes for homeless veterans. We plan to fundraise and complete the Kokoda trail this September.

In the lead up to the Kokoda Trail we are raising money for veteran suicide awareness and prevention and homeless veterans with a hashtag - #trek4vets.

It is our goal to one day bring veterans out of the darkness and back into a society who cares for them.

We love you brothers.

Finally, a massive thank you to all the help we are receiving along the way. We can't thank you enough and will be forever in your debt.

Highlights - 
• Raise vital funds for charities that support veteran reintegration back into society.
• Challenging myself to complete the Kokoda Trail with my best mate - Jamie Larcombes, father and sisters.
• Complete the Kokoda Trail in 10 days in marching order.

Fast Facts -
Dates: 2 September - 12 September 2015
Fundraising target: $10,000+
Travel cost: $6,595 including taxes (seeking sponsorship)
Trip duration: 10 days
Challenge duration: 8 days hiking the Kokoda Trail
Challenge grade: 4.5/5 (high) - Will attempt to hike the Kokoda Trail with full military marching order including:
•  Pack (approx. 20-27kgs)
•  Webbing (approx. 8-12kg)
•  Clothing 
•  Bedding
•  Food & Water
•  Any other stores required

Follow Our Journey -
• Website:
• Instagram:  
• Facebook:
• Any inspirational or encouraging posts welcome.
• I do encourage you to please share this fundraiser.

Contact Details - 
• Please contact me via Facebook or on 0416 113 193.

Mates In Memory - 
Sapper Darren Smith - June 7, 2010
Sapper Jacob Moerland - June 7, 2010
Corporal Richard Atkinson - February 2, 2011
Sapper Jamie Larcombe - February 19, 2011
Sapper Rowan Robinson - June 6, 2011
Sapper Scott Smith - Oct 22, 201

"Always Beside You"


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Dean Luland 
Sydney, Australia
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