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Heroes Helping Heroes at Team Overland

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Team Overland 2016 Toyota 4Runner equipped with K&N 63-9034 intake ki

The newest vehicle for Team Overland is this 2016 Toyota 4Runner, equipped with, among other things, a K&N 63-9034 intake kit.

Imagine being 18 years old, fresh out of the hardest training of your life, and on a flight in a C130, on your way fight terrorists on their turf. That is a pretty scary thought for most people. For others, that is a reality that is becoming all too common. After spending months and sometimes years overseas, members of the U.S. armed forces are expected to come home and be normal, functioning members of society. After leaving the battlefields, these American heroes are left to battle internal struggles of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Team Overland 2016 Toyota 4Runner equipped with Cascadia Roof Top Vehicle Tents

Matthew recently finished overhauling this trailer to be able to take on expeditions. On top of the trailer and the 4Runner are Cascadia Roof Top Vehicle Tents. These enable Team Overland and anyone they take camping to be able to sleep up, off the ground.

Once called shell shock or battle fatigue, PTSD is a trauma and stressor-related disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. PTSD is caused by a stressful or traumatic experience in someone's life. After these events, sufferers can experience flash backs, memory loss, psychological sensitivity, insomnia, outbursts of anger, and other frightening symptoms. Definitely not something we want the protectors of our freedom to have to endure.

Team Overland helps soldiers and disabled vets

Team Overland helps not only soldiers suffering from internal battle scars, but also those who were physically wounded in combat. Here he is helping a wounded vet up to a lookout point on one of Team Overland's expeditions.

Traumatic and stressful events are almost an everyday occurrence for soldiers overseas, so it is no surprise that an alarming rate of PTSD sufferers are coming home. With little to no help for them, the effects of PTSD can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide. However, thanks to non-profit organizations around the country, more veterans are receiving help with their PTSD.

One of these organizations is a non-profit that uses off-roading, hiking, and camping as a way for veterans to cope with the effects of PTSD. Team Overland was founded in 2015 by US Marine Corps Corporal Matthew Havniear. After spending 10 months fighting in Afghanistan, Matthew came home and was diagnosed with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and post-concussion syndrome. After trying to seek clinical help, Matthew decided to take his love for outdoors that his late father instilled in him and turn it into a way to give back to his brothers and sisters. Team Overland offers guided, overland expeditions to veterans suffering from not only mental disorders, but also physically wounded soldiers as well. To give the veterans something to take home and be able to integrate into their everyday lives, Team Overland also ties stress management techniques into their trips.

Team Overland Founder and Executive Director, Matthew Havniear with K&N intake for Toyota 4Runner

Team Overland Founder and Executive Director, Matthew Havniear posing with the K&N intake that will soon go on his 4Runner.

To effectively carry out these expeditions, Matthew was in need of a vehicle that he could take out into the woods with no trouble but could also carry passengers and gear. To do this, he picked up a 2016 Toyota 4Runner. While the 4Runner in its stock form is fairly capable off-highway, Matthew will be pushing the limits with it and needs it to be able to handle more than just a casual dirt road. He is currently in the process of building the vehicle and came to K&N for assistance with getting it breathing better. To help, we provided Matthew with a K&N 63-9034 air intake system for the 4Runner.

We will continue to follow the build of Team Overland's newest rig, so be sure to check back in for the finished product. For more information on Team Overland, visit them at teamoverland.org. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, visit the National Institute of Mental Health at nimh.nih.gov for resources to combat this debilitating disorder.


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 50 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.