these don’t have to hold me back.”
Hometown: Ridgeway, CO
Rank: SSG (Veteran)
Expeditionary position: Team member
What being a soldier means to me:
People join up for a large and varied number of reasons. Being a soldier can mean different things for different people. But for me, it meant being a member of a team and providing for the well-being and success of those around me. It meant being part of something bigger than myself.
Why I joined:
To be honest, I joined the Army to play the trumpet.
What I fight for:
I want people to understand that post-traumatic stress is not an indicator of weakness. I think that many soldiers and veterans fail to seek help for PTSD because they are concerned about how they will be perceived. But we must degrade our society’s aversion to mental health treatment if we would like to see veteran suicide eliminated.
Why I climb:
You have to find what you enjoy. I personally have filled my life with a love for the outdoors. Outdoor sports can emulate the personal responsibility and teamwork that is required in the military. Not only is this an opportunity to push my personal limits, it is an opportunity to start a discussion. Things like amputations, PTSD, and TBI … these are all things that I’ve experienced, and they don’t have to hold me back or keep me from reaching the top of the world.
If I climb Everest, maybe I can serve as an example to others struggling through these or other issues.
Meet the team
These five soldiers will brave the tallest peak in the world.