The rates of PTSD, depression and suicide amongst combat veterans have skyrocketed over the past few years. In the past decade, we have lost more soldiers to suicide than we have in the Afghan War. "Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, fully 20 percent of them are acts by veterans. That means on average 18 veterans commit suicide each day." -VA Secretary Eric Shinseki (2010). Many veterans have spent the past decade fighting wars and otherwise totally engrossed in a military environment. Civilian reintegration can be extremely difficult. A 2010 study of 754 veterans found that half of them reported “some” to “extreme” difficulty in social functioning, productivity and community involvement. For these reasons, it is important for all citizens to support our war-fighters positive reintegration into society.
Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB) is a grassroots organization, created by my friend Mike Erwin, whose vision is to transform the way wounded veterans are reintegrated into society when they return from combat and exit their position in the US military. Team RWB’s mission is to connect and enrich the lives of at-risk and wounded veterans.
My friend Nick & I are dedicating our climb of Mount Kilimanjaro (14-25 June) to raise awareness and support for these wounded, depressed and socially-isolated veterans. We are financing this climb ourselves; therefore 100% of this fundraising effort will go to Team RWB to support wounded warriors. We are trying to raise $1 for every meter we will climb - 5895 meters (19,341 ft). Let us know if you have something special (e.g. a fallen soldier's dog-tags, a memento of a deceased loved one) that you want to touch, or bury at, the roof of Africa.
Please consider making a donation through this website. No donation is too small. ($5? okay!) More importantly, please offer not only your gratitude but also your friendship to veterans & families who enter your lives and communities.
Thank you for your support! And please share this with all who may care!
Our Climb Timeline:
Day 1 (15 Jun): ETA 1235 Kilimanjaro / JRO (via Addis Ababa), stay in Moshi
Day 2 (16 Jun): Machame Gate (1490 m) - Machame camp (2980 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
Day 3 (17 Jun): Machame camp (2980 m) - Shira camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6 hours
Day 4 (18 Jun): Shira (3840 m) - Lava Tower (4630 m) - Barranco camp (3950 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
Day 5 (19 Jun): Barranco camp (3950 m) - Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
Day 6 (20 Jun): Barafu camp (4550 m)- Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka.
Day 7 (21 Jun): Mweka hut to Mweka gate and lodge in Moshi