Update 6/1/2013: Great news! With the addition of Maj Robert Carreon, US Air Force, to the team, we've seen a huge bump in our fundraising. Because of this, we're knocking the goal up to $10,000. This is twice the current goal and FOUR TIMES the original goal of $2500. Thank you so much for your continued support! The hike is a mere 34 days away. If you want to keep up on Robert's and my progress during the hike, including out location on a map, make sure to like the Facebook page. Thanks!
Update 11/19/2012: Due to the tremendous response I've received, I've increased my fundraising goal. Thanks to everyone for your generosity! Keep spreading the word!
To keep up on the latest on my endeavor, please Like my new Facebook page: Healing Through Hiking!
I'm new to fundraising, which is ironic since my dad spent his entire career doing it and I have some amazing friends who are really good at it, but earlier this year I committed to hiking The Colorado Trail, 500 miles from Durango to Denver. It started as a personal pursuit, but someone suggested to me that it would be a good opportunity to use it to raise funds for a cause. It suddenly seemed obvious to me that I should do so to aid a cause very personal to me: The Wounded Warrior Project.
As many of you know, I'm a Lieutenant Colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard. I have also served on Active Duty and in the Army Reserve over my 16 year (so far!) career. I have deployed twice overseas, in 1998 and in 2003, the latter being as an Engineer Company Commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While on this tour, I lost a tremendous Non-Commissioned Officer, Staff Sergeant Mark Lawton, and several Soldiers were wounded in various engagements. I share these details not as self-promotion, but to provide some understanding of my motivations.
While the tireless efforts of the Veterans Administration and numerous other non-profit groups have greatly improved the physical recovery, and career and educational opportunities available to veterans, there still exists a void in addressing the psychological well-being of our Wounded Warriors. This is where the Wounded Warrior Project comes in. Their programs seek to positively impact the unseen wounds of war on what I feel is our next Greatest Generation. I urge you to visit their site and become familiar with their work.
My trip, planned for the month of July 2013, is completely self-funded and supported logistically by some good friends and family. That means that every dollar donated here will go directly to the WWP and the veterans that need our help.
Finally, I would like to recognize the support of my wife, Kimberly, in this endeavor. She thinks I'm nuts - she's probably right - but she's behind me 100 percent and is the reason I hope to be able to take a selfish endeavor and do something good.