From the Arctic to Afghanistan, Brooklyn Decker is all about dat exploration life! Just recently, the actress, model and bulldog owner did some adventure hiking in Los Angeles. She teamed up with the Sierra Club to help raise awareness about veterans and the importance of taking time to immerse yourself in nature.
When many vets come back from serving, it can often be a really overwhelming experience adjusting back into civilian life. Connecting with nature is a way that the Sierra Club lends support to veterans. After Brooklyn’s hike, we caught up with her to talk about why we need to help vets, turn our computers off and never take long walks with an English bulldog.
Photo: (Mel Metcalfe III/Sierra Club)
MTV Act: What was it about the Sierra Club military outing that made you want to get involved?
Brooklyn: Sierra Club reached out to me a year ago because I post a lot on social media about being outdoors. Just because that’s how I naturally live. They luckily caught on to it and were like, “We love that you love the outdoors and we love being outdoors, and is this something you would want to get involved with?” so for me it felt like the most natural thing to do.
They are starting a new initiative called Sierra Club Outdoors, and they asked me if I would get involved. The biggest thing is pretty simple — it’s just getting people outdoors. There is a special focus in military families and people coming back from serving because it’s proven to be incredibly therapeutic for people with PTSD.
MTV Act: With nearly 22 vets committing suicide daily, this is clearly a huge issue. What were you most surprised to learn during your military outing ?
Brooklyn: What surprised me most, is the most important thing about getting outside: reminding people coming back from serving what they were protecting in the first place. I mean, when you come back from doing this incredible important job and you see an 8-year-old on an iPad, and not having a conversation with their parent, you may be like ‘What did I do this for?’ When you get outdoors, you realize what it’s all about and why you served. It really helps them acclimate back into civilian life.
MTV Act: Back in 2012, you and Chrissy Teigen traveled to the Middle East on a USO tour. What memory stands out the most for you during this trip?
Brooklyn: It’s a little bit morbid but we were there when U.S. Ambassador Stevens was killed, so we saw it at a turbulent time. It really added a lot of weight to what we were doing. You could see these men and women that are over there serving, you could really see their skills come into action. For us, it was also the week of 9/11, so it was a really interesting time to be there. We went over there with an enormous amount of respect for those serving, and after being there in a time where you actually saw them use the skills they have been training for, it really made it more meaningful for both of us.
MTV Act: What do you want fans to know most about this cause that you’re supporting?
Brooklyn: It’s so simple and seems almost silly because it’s a no-brainer: just get outside. Nowadays, we’re all on Twitter, Facebook, and on our computers, I think just getting outside is so good for the psyche, and so good physically. There are so many problems in the country that result in people not being active and out in the outdoors and it’s the simplest way to have a really good experience and a cool Instagram picture. You’re experiencing something that feels real, connecting you to nature and people. Once again, it’s simple but just get your butt off your computer!
MTV Act: Many feel Veterans get overlooked, and often forgotten. Do you feel we as a country do enough for veterans?
Brooklyn: We can always do more. There will always be a huge disparity between what they did for us and what we are doing for them. There are a ton of organizations that are incredibly supportive and try to make the transition easier. Do I think we do enough? No, because how do you repay someone who sacrifices their life? But there are many organizations trying their best.
Photo: (Mel Metcalfe III/Sierra Club)
MTV Act: We have to ask, did your beloved bulldog, Billie Jean, join you on your hike?
Brooklyn: Oh gosh, no! Are you kidding me? Bulldogs are little diva dogs, they could make it 10 steps and then be like, “OK, I want to hang out in the car.”
MTV Act: Random question: What did you wish you knew when you were 17 that you know now?
Brooklyn: I wish at 17, I knew it was OK to say no. I think at 17, I was such a yes person trying to impress, and scared to disappoint people so you say yes to everything. It’s OK to say no, and do what you want. The earlier kids learn the power of no, the better.
Sierra Club Outdoors
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