He came back from the war with PTSD. But he and his dog found an 'adventurous' way to deal with it.

Meet Stephen Simmons.

He's an army veteran who fought in the Iraq War.

That's him on the right.

After returning from war, Simmons struggled to adjust to life back home.

He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a common affliction among war vets and others who have lived through life-threatening events.

So he started seeing a therapist.

But eventually, he needed something more. He had too much pent-up energy that was presenting as stress, anxiety, and all the other crappy feelings that come with PTSD.

The couch wasn't gonna cut it.

That's when Simmons discovered adventure therapy.

According to the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, adventure therapy usually takes place in the wilderness and "involves the combination of physically and psychologically demanding activities, usually (but not always) conducted in a group setting."

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Simmons told the story of his first experience with adventure therapy. It wasn't a typical group activity, but he did have a friend tag along — his dog, Puppi.

He and Puppi set out to climb a mountain. And despite a dangerous lack of preparation, they achieved their goal. And Simmons descended to safety having learned something critical to his fight against PTSD:

"I realized that I cared a lot more about what happened to me than I thought I did. There's something about balancing on the slope of a mountain, pumped full of adrenalin, and close to the top. It was quite an adventure and accomplishment."
— Stephen Simmons

Soon after that day, Simmons adopted a kitten, which became the third member of his adventure therapy troop.

He named her Burma the Adventure Cat.

There's Burma bringin' up the rear.

The adventurous trio has crossed many a stream and conquered many a mountain since Simmons came home from the war, and they plan to keep it up for as long as they're able.

Adventure therapy has been life-saving for Simmons.

And he believes it can be for a lot of other people. If you know a veteran who's battling PTSD, share this story with them. Who knows? It could be exactly what they need.

Click play to see Simmons, Puppi, and Burma in action:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.


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In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

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The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

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Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.