Photo by John F. Russell
One of the many photos in Rob Powers’ office simply shows a close-up image of two hands connecting in a firm grip. The photo was taken in a remote, combat-ridden location in the Middle East.
Visit www.thewarriortours.com, www.armedforces.lucashoge.com or the American300 Warrior Tours Facebook page.
Steamboat Springs The first thing that Rob Powers wants you to know is that he does what he does — including volunteering as many as 60 hours a week and traveling four or five months each year — for one reason: gratitude.
“We’re doing this for our servicemen and women,” Powers says on a rainy May afternoon in his small, but vividly decorated, Steamboat Springs office. “We want to make absolutely certain that they know America cares.”
Thanks to the efforts of Powers and other volunteer leaders of American300 Warrior Tours, countless American soldiers around the globe know exactly that.
Powers organizes and leads several trips a year to U.S. military bases, in combat zones and peaceful areas, to improve the resiliency and morale of troops. He brings along Olympians — “It all started with Steamboat athletes,” he says — rodeo stars, country musicians, professional athletes and others.
There’s a thorough vetting process for trip participants, Powers says, to ensure that those who come along know the trip is entirely about the troops, rather than participants’ own celebrity or fame.
“We go to hardship, remote combat areas,” Powers says.
The trips provide opportunities for well-known people to make lasting connections with servicemen and servicewomen and to express their thanks in simple messages that can have profound impacts.
One of the many photos in Powers’ office simply shows, for example, a close-up image of two hands connecting in a firm grip. The photo was taken in a remote, combat-ridden location in the Middle East.
“We shook hands with guys who hadn’t shook hands with somebody in six months,” Powers says about that tour.
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane has traveled on Warrior Tours with Powers and attests to the influence of the National Guard veteran at home and overseas. “He’s a truly wonderful representative of the community,” Lane says.
Powers, a father of five who makes his living announcing military and professional sporting events, such as marathons, moved to Steamboat Springs in 1990. He’s lived in the Hahn’s Peak area since 2002.
“I really savor my time up in Hahn’s Peak when I come home from a tour,” he says, citing the peaceful, quiet surroundings in North Routt County. “It’s such a contrast from having mortars drop around you at night.”