"I have seen strength, and I have seen raw pain."
As I reflect back on the previous four years since Erik (Weihenmayer) and I committed to initiating and developing what would later go on to become the Soldiers to Summits program, I am profoundly moved to consider the dozens of amazing warriors I have been honored to share a rope with on each of our expeditions. One of the great gifts of starting this program has been the personal degree of learning I have been exposed to. I had very little understanding back then how transformational the S2S program would be for me on a very profound level.
Watching these wounded warriors come together as a unit, congeal as a team, prepare for a mission and deal with adversity has taught me more than I can easily convey. I have seen strength, and I have seen raw pain. I have learned what it means to stand up in the face of adversity…and in some cases, in spite of it.
Now four years later, as I accept the role as expedition leader again for an S2S project, I am honored to be inextricably connected to a new group of veterans that have dedicated themselves to roping up as a team, committed to the healing process and are fired up to embrace the bounty that the alpine environment provides us.
I am grateful to all the men and women that rope up with us in the mountains. I am grateful to them for their sacrifice. And I am grateful to them for teaching all of us what it means to be a warrior.