Our real goals: demonstrate courage and encourage others

by Jeff Messner

Trekking above Pheriche. Photo by Didrik Johnck

Trekking above Pheriche. Photo by Didrik Johnck

October 13 PHERICHE, NEPAL – As we are about to separate to our two summit expeditions, I want to remind you that Lobuche and Everest Base Camp is not the goal. The goal is to demonstrate the courage and resilience of you, our injured soldier; and to encourage others who have been injured that they too can accomplish exceptional goals.

We are very thankful to our ten Everest summit TEAMmates who have been instrumental in bringing the TEAM together. The 2001 Everest TEAM members offered to guide us so they too could give back to others in celebration of their successful Everest summit. They had hoped that just as they had benefited from a new level of confidence that transformed their lives, this expedition would do the same for the injured soldiers. We are deeply indebted to them for all of their tremendous personal and organizational support of the expedition.

The mental and physical challenge of the Himalayan Mountains has inspired us.

Tomorrow we split into two groups, one to summit Lobouche and one to summit Kala Patar and trek to Everest Base Camp. Our goal is to climb as high as safely possible and to descend safely. We are very proud that you have accepted this challenge and accomplished so much to be here in Pheriche at 14,130 feet. The last few days have been a transitional opportunity as you have crossed a huge threshold and the next few days will help you become the person you want to be. There will be many challenges as big as Everest and Lobuche in your future, such as career, family, community, or whatever it may be.

You have sacrificed and given so much through your military service and injuries, we hope you will take this experience and lesson from this expedition and turn it into your Adversity Advantage.

Ike guiding Steve through the rocks. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

Ike guiding Steve through the rocks. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

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