it’s for the brother or sister on the right or left.”
Hometown: Cumming, GA
Expeditionary position: Operations director, team member
What being a soldier means to me:
I am a new 2LT, and I don't have any time down range, nor do I claim to have all the answers. But I can tell you why I chose to serve among the bravest soldiers in the world.
There is no greater honor than having the opportunity to serve others and help defend this country. Being a soldier means sacrificing some, if not all, for the soldier to your right or left. It means caring for others even if they don't have your same beliefs. It means doing what's right even if it makes for a longer day. It means making the choice that no one wants to make, but is necessary to protect your men. It is long days in the hot sun with a ruck on your back. It is encouraging your battle buddy to keep going, to stay awake, even when you are just as tired. It means showing compassion, but not hesitating to pull the trigger. You show pride, but don't ever boast of accomplishments. You show bravery, even when you’re scared. It is the most selfless profession any person could ever choose. Being a soldier isn’t a part-time thing, it's who you are, from the sand pit to the way you carry yourself—It's a way of life, infused deep into your core.
Why I joined:
I have always been drawn to this: If you ask a soldier what they fight for, it’s for their brother or sister on the right or left. That’s a team that I am honored to be a part of. And don't get me wrong—Yes, I joined to serve the greatest country on Earth. Yes, I joined because I wanted to do something with my life, to become something, but the underlying thing that inspired me was the stories of brothers and sisters in arms and how they fought for each other.
What I fight for:
Our entire focus of the USX Veteran Everest Expedition is to raise funds and awareness for soldier mental health. Our goal is to help our fellow soldiers who are struggling. I am climbing to literally raise awareness and funds, but also to show that we all have our own challenges to overcome, and while ours may be physical in nature, many soldiers both on our USX team and across the military have struggles within. I hope to help, even in a small way those soldiers. To me, summiting Everest would be incredible, but the greatest sense of happiness I would have is receiving a message from a soldier afterwards saying how much we inspired him or helped him in some way.
Meet the team
These five soldiers will brave the tallest peak in the world.