Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb for Valor
The Beef and Beer Benefit for Mike Duskin and Riley Stephens was established after both men were killed in the War On Terror in Afghanistan. Their teammates and former teammates (all currently Active Duty Green Berets) created the Beef and Beer to not only provide monetary support for both of the families these two warriors left behind but to also provide a platform for our surrounding military and civilian communities to unite and provide emotional support for the Duskin and Stephens families. Through the success of the first Beef and Beer, it has become an annual event that now provides high-quality private school scholarships at the elementary age level for the children of Non-Commissioned Officers in the Special Operations Forces community. To read more on the Beef and Beer Benefit and The Duskin and Stephens Foundation, please go to www.duskinandstephens.com.
Eddie Frank has been leading climbs up Kilimanjaro since 1977 and has done a multitude of charity climbs for organizations such as the Red Cross, multiple cancer foundations, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Mr. Frank attended the 2014 Beef and Beer Benefit for The Duskin and Stephens Foundation and was touched by the altruistic nature of the benefit and the effort of so many men and women to not only provide support for the Duskin and Stephens families, but to also start the Mike Duskin and Riley Stephens Memorial Scholarship Fund for the children of Special Operations Non-Commissioned Officers. Mr. Frank approached The Duskin and Stephens Foundation and offered to lead the charity climb if the foundation could find two wounded warriors to build the climb around.
The Duskin and Stephens Foundation found two active duty Green Berets to send on the climb. However, these men are not typical wounded warriors, as Jesse B. and Tyler M. had both been severely wounded in combat in Afghanistan and fought their way back to operational status after their injuries. This was the stipulation that The Duskin and Stephens Foundation co-founders, Chad and Dan, had set when they were looking for potential climbers. They wanted men who not only had been severely wounded in combat but also fought their way through surgeries and extensive rehabilitation processes to be operational on a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA).
Tyler M., a 27 year-old Green Beret vet from Harding, New Jersey, was shot during a firefight with Taliban in Afghanistan. After a four and a half month grueling rehab, aside from what he calls “a few mobility issues”, he is expected to make a full recovery. Through his determination and commitment to the men he serves next to, Tyler has since deployed back to combat with his SF ODA.
Twenty-nine year old Hastings, Minnesota native Jesse B. was conducting a joint training patrol with local forces in Logar Province, Afghanistan in April, 2013, when his vehicle was struck by an IED. An estimated 67% of his body was burned in the blast, more than half of which was diagnosed as third degree. He also had cracked ribs and a fractured pelvis. After more than a dozen surgeries, including a one-month medically-induced coma, and endless burn and physical therapies, Jesse is not only walking again, but he has returned to his SF team and is currently deployed. He will be returning in the next few weeks to prepare for the Climb for Valor.
The proceeds from the Climb for Valor will benefit the mission of The Duskin and Stephens Foundation which provides quality, private elementary education to the children of Special Operations Forces soldiers in the Ft. Bragg area. The proceeds will also ensure that this Climb for Valor is an annual event which sends our nation's wounded warriors on a cathartic and healing climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Donations made to this GoFundMe campaign will help send Jesse and Tyler up Mt. Kilimanjaro and ensure other warriors like them can make future climbs.
If you would like to learn more about the climb and/or potentially climb next to Tyler and Jesse, please visit: http://www.tusker.com/tusker-treks/kilimanjaro-climb/kili-details-pricing/routes/kilimanjaro-climb-for-valor.aspx
In the meantime, take a look at this blog post written by #Climb4Valor climber, Kraig Becker, recounting his experience on the climb. http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/back-from-kilimanjaro.html
Be sure to check back for pictures. We should have some really soon.
In the meantime, check out this cool video from day 2 of the climb. It's the Tusker Trail crew giving quite a warm welcome to the climbers as they arrived at Shira Camp. http://youtu.be/2dIwAO8WVuE
We are waiting for pictures of today's amazing experience from Tusker Trail. Be sure to check back because as soon as we have them, we will post them.