Nick Colgin, a native of Chesterfield, VA, served on active duty as a combat medic in the 82D airborne. Over a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan from 2007-2008, he participated in more than 700 combat patrols, earning an Army Achievement Medal and a Bronze Star.
Toward the end of Nick’s deployment, a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Humvee, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Returning home, he experienced a number of issues during recovery, including the inability to spell his own name, walking with a cane and barely being able to speak. He also required multiple surgeries on his face.
Despite his injuries, Nick never quit. While recovering, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and fought tirelessly for his community of veterans with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the first and largest nonprofit for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, in New York City. His efforts didn’t go unnoticed and resulted in President Barack Obama telling Nicks’ story in speeches across the nation.
Nick longed for a return to the outdoors and the simpler way of life he experienced in the mountains of Afghanistan. In 2012, he applied to No Barriers Warriors and climbed Cotopaxi, the third highest active volcano in the world. Inspired by his experience with No Barriers Warriors, he went on to attend the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for Outdoor Education. He worked in the outdoors, guiding individuals across the nation with a wide array of disabilities, particularly injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and individuals who are blind. As a result of his experience, Nick was invited to mentor fellow veterans on the 2013 No Barriers Warriors expedition to Peru, and subsequently as an Expedition Leader for trips such as the Mission Mt. Whitney expedition in 2014.
Currently, Nick serves on staff as the Program Manager for No Barriers Warriors. When Nick is not leading trips for No Barriers Warriors, or helping shape our Warriors programming, he is living in Fort Collins with his two dogs, Dixie and Tigre. He never allowed his injuries or his obstacles to stop him.