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About Xsports4vets

We are a group of current conflict veterans that strive to help other combat veterans succeed.  We utilize as many extreme sports as we can to take the edge out of civilian life.  Riverboarding, rock climbing, trike flying, skydiving, rafting and many other activities are our expertise!  Some of us have obvious wounds left over from combat, others don't - but we all benefit from getting out and meeting people that have been in our shoes.


How Xsports4vets Came To Be

Janna Sherrill started Xsports4vets in 2010 as a doctorate project.  Four years earlier she attempted to convince her stepbrother--a month home from Iraq--to seek treatment for his 'daymares'.  In the process she shared her own battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  He promised to seek help if the symptoms got worse.  A year and a half later he was gone.

Janna channeled her grief and feelings of guilt for not knowing how to better support her stepbrother into studying PTSD, cutting edge treatments and the barriers that keep veterans from seeking assistance.  While completing interviews on the factors that support veterans and their family members through the reintegration process she encountered Jesse Scollin.  He recounted how the sport of riverboarding made him want to be alive again.  His story resonated with her own experiences rock climbing.  Afraid of heights she first learned how to control her pounding heart, sweaty palms and mind numbing fear on the rock face--slowing everything down to focus on making the next move.  A technique that helped her begin to master her own symptoms of PTSD just enough to stop fearing and avoiding the situations that brought them on.  A critical discovery on her personal journey with the disorder.
 
Janna and Jesse partnered to create Xsports4vets and run a pilot riverboarding course for combat veterans that combined elements of successful PTSD and reintegration treatment programs.  The veterans and river guides who participated talked them into keeping it going.  With participant volunteers and help from the Montana River Guides and the Missoula Vet Center, Xsports4vets took on a life of its own.  Xsports4vets now operates every season in multiple, adrenaline pumping sports.  It's open to any veteran who deployed to an area of eminent danger to help with the stress of returning home.  The band of volunteers that keep it running include veterans, their family members, civilians and multiple organizations throughout Missoula.


XSports4Vets - Our People

Staff

Xsports4vets veteran benefits coordinator

Steve Hale, MSW

Director

stevenmhale99@yahoo.com

Steve Hale is a volunteer staff member XSports4Vets since 2011 and employed as a Veteran Service Officer for the State of Montana Department of Military Affairs since September 2016.  From 2001 to 2005, Steve served in the United State Army, 19D Cavalry Scout and was deployed in 2004-2005 in Operation Iraq Freedom.

Following his return from service, Steve worked customer service until he returned to college to further his education.  Steve received his Masters of Social Work from the University of Montana in May 2016, and for a short time, Steve worked for the Western Montana Mental Health Center as a Veterans Court Case Manager.  While attending the University of Montana, Steve assisted veterans in finding services and resources within the Montana area through his work-study at the Missoula Vet Center and further provided psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals including patients and families through his Graduate Social Work Internship with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Steve is a lifetime member and the Veterans Service Officer with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 209 in Missoula.  He facilitated a veterans’ farming program with the assistance of River Road Farms.  Steve continues to give back to veterans by providing the necessary information on benefits, resources, and other programs to assist them in their lives.  But more importantly, he gives back to veterans by just being a listening ear when they need to talk.  Steve is a true believer in the benefits veterans can receive from the programs Xsports4vets provides to local combat veterans.  He loves to riverboard, white water raft, downhill ski, garden, spend time outdoors and especially loves spending time with his two amazing kids.


 

Anton Johnson of Xsports4Vets

Anton Johnson, BSW

Operations

anton.johnson@yahoo.com

An Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veteran, Anton served in Afghanistan from 2004-2005 as a combat engineer with the 367th battalion out of Minnesota.  He earned his Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Montana and is now an Outreach Specialist for The Missoula Vet Center (Readjustment Counseling Services/Department of Veterans Affairs).  Anton is also a lifetime member and Commander of the Missoula Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) post 209, Chair of Joining Community Forces (Missoula), and a leadership group member of Project Tomorrow – Formerly known as the Western Montana Suicide Prevention Initiative.


 

jared perkins veterans advocate

Jared Perkins

Technologist / Support

jared@outbounddigital.com

Jared is a Combat Veteran with a background as a Combat Engineer in the Army. During his 9 years in the military, he had additional training in HazMat, NBC, peer-to-peer counseling and various leadership training programs. He is currently the house committee chairman for the VFW Post 209, a member of American Legion Post 101, and the Bitterroot Division Disabled American Veterans.

Jared graduated from Minot State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Marketing and another Bachelor's of Science in International Business.  After graduation, he moved to Missoula, Montana, and co-founded Outbound Digital in 2012, a web design and marketing company that is still operating today.


Board Of Directors

Janna Sherrill of XSports4Vets

Janna Sherrill, OTD, OTR/L

Founder

Janna obtained her Masters and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California.  She helps adults battling a variety life-changing physical and neurological injuries/disorders maximize function in a range of rehabilitation, home and work settings.  Janna currently works at Copper Ridge Health and Rehab in Butte, Montana.


 

river raider of XSports4Vets

Jesse Scollin aka: River Raider

Co-Founder/Field Researcher:

OIF veteran, Doc, and skilled riverboarder Jesse Scollin selflessly shared his story to bring his form of river therapy to all combat veterans.  Jesse explores the white water, the snow and the people to lead us to the ultimate ‘therapeutization’.


 

Dr. R. Glen Heaton of XSports4Vets

Glen Heaton, MD

Vice Chair

He is a Montana native born and raised in Deer Lodge where he graduated from Powell County High School in 1985. He attended both the University of Montana and Montana State University before earning his bachelors degree from U of M in Psychology and a minor in Biology.  He then went on to Medical School at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona California.  It was during his third year of Medical school that he joined the United States Air Force Air National Guard at March Reserve Base in Riverside California.  After graduating from medical school in 2000, He was accepted into the University of Arizona’s Family and Community Medicine residency program where, his senior, he served as chief resident of the program. After graduation he moved to Butte Montana where he took a position as the medical director for the Community Health Center.  His military career continued and in 2004 he attended the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas.  In 2008, He volunteered and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi freedom and the following year he again deployed to Moron Spain as a flight Surgeon to support the United States space shuttle mission STS 125.  He has served as the Chief of Aerospace Medicine and the Chief of Clinical Services, and Flight surgeon for the Montana Air National Guard. In 2009 he moved to Missoula and met the Love of his life.  Kim Fontaine.  Dr. Heaton and Kim are married and have 4 beautiful children; Austin (17) Kody (14) Josie (12) and Kylie (9) they both enjoy outdoor activities, traveling, sports, and events with their family and friends.  They are active in local community charities as well.   Both Dr. Heaton and his wife work at Community Medical Center in Missoula. and he continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Montana Air National Guard with 16 years off service.


 

Ken Crippen veteran representitive

Ken Crippen, JD

Chair

Ken is President and Chief Executive Officer of American Trucking and Transportation Insurance Company, a Risk Retention Group (ATTIC, RRG) a captive insurance company currently owned by its twelve insured motor carriers.  Domiciled in Montana, ATTIC, RRG writes liability policies for mid to large size motor carriers currently operating 5,200 power units in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.


 

Laura Degele with Xsports4vets

Laura Degele

Secretary

Laura is currently works at Missoula Aging Services as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Senior Corps. Program.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication with a Minor in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Montana. Laura has a background in event planning.  Although Laura is not a Veteran, she has a desire to honor them.