Climbing Everest For Awareness

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a huge issue for many soldiers who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other conflicts around the world.

Often misunderstood, there are people, groups and organizations that are trying to raise awareness and help defeat this terrible disorder that puts soldiers in veterans in dire straits on a daily basis.

Back in May of 2016, one of those organizations helped set up a climb of Mount Everest for 3 veterans in an effort to raise public awareness about PTSD.

That organization is USX.

everest

Courtesy of Wikipedia commons

About USX

USX stands for U.S. Expeditions and Exploration.

USX is a non-profit organization founded to help improve the quality of life of our veterans.

Many veterans feel that their life is over, and they have nothing more to offer.

This is a major reason we have seen so many suicides, but veterans do have a lot still to offer.

That is the aim of USX is to show veterans and enable them to keep serving the United States even after military life is over.

The focus of USX is research initiatives and Nexus expeditions.

Soldiers and veterans team up with scientists, educators and fellow adventurers to complete tasks meant to foster teamwork and a sense of community.

USX is quite new and I believe they will make a strong impact in the lives of soldiers and veterans in the future.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. 21 Crazy Facts And 7 Idiotic Myths About PTSD
  2. Recognizing And Treating PTSD In Soldiers
  3. PTSD War: How to Deal With It
  4. Resilience, the Army, and Suicide
  5. Top 5 Suicide Awareness Tips for Army Leaders

The first expedition

In May of 2016, the very first expedition took place for USX and 3 veterans made the climb of Mount Everest.

They were doing so to bring awareness and raise funds to help heal the mental and physical health of soldiers returning from deployments.

These are those soldiers who made the climb:

Staff Sergeant (Retired) U.S. Army Chad Jukes

An amazing feat, Chad made the climb as a single leg amputee.

Battling PTSD has been a huge aspect of Chad’s life since the vehicle he was in struck an IED in Northern Iraq.

Climbing has been a great medicine for Chad.

2nd Lieutenant U.S. Army Harold Earls IV

Harold graduated from West Point and during that time he did a school project on the effects of PTSD.

After graduation while still serving in the Army at Fort Benning, Georgia, Harold co-founded USX to help battle PTSD.

After completing the Everest climb, Harold was headed to Ranger school.

This is the definition of a great leader in my opinion.

Captain U.S. Army Elyse Ping Medvigy

Elyse also currently serves as a Fire Direction Officer at Fort Carson, Colorado.

She was a Platoon Leader in South Korea and then deployed to Afghanistan as the first female fire support officer in the Army deploying with a light infantry unit.

Elyse carried pictures of 2 fellow soldiers she was stationed with in Afghanistan who were killed by an IED.

They were:

  • Staff Sergeant Benjamin Prange
  • Private First Class Keith Williams

Elyse says she does not suffer from PTSD, but she knows many soldiers who do and she feels a deep need to help them in any way possible.

That drove her to the top of Mount Everest even though she suffered from some medical issues part way up.

The next USX expedition

The next planned expedition is to raise money to put a stop to soldier suicides.

2 veterans are going to hike over 2,500 miles.

John Moore and Bob Williamson are veterans who have chosen to partner with USX and Stop Soldier Suicide to make a hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.

It is in these guy’s hearts very much because they know between the 2 of them 13 soldiers who have taken their own lives.

Stepping up to partner or donate

There are many who have made the choice to partner with USX.

They include:

  • GOV X
  • Chevrolet
  • Marmot
  • Expedia
  • Sweet Baby Rays
  • Coast Products
  • Kevlar
  • U.S. Legacy Co.
  • Southern Ground
  • Pitch Publicity
  • Structor Group
  • Inmarsat Government
  • and No Barriers

You can help support this cause too by visiting the USX website in the reference section and click the donate button.

Follow the progress on their social media sites:

You can also support this great organization by purchasing t-shirts and other gear on their website.

Final Thoughts

USX and other non-profit organizations that are supporting veterans with PTSD and other issues are a great thing.

Please give these organizations your support.

Do you have comments or questions about this?

Please leave them below.

Thank you for visiting.

References

  1. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/24/health/usx-veteran-soldiers-summit-everest/index.html
  2. http://www.usx.vet/
  3. http://gazette.com/mount-everest-climb-was-personal-for-fort-carson-officer/article/1576977
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