Why am I doing this? – Keith Zeier

I am doing this because it is something that I am truly passionate about and believe in the impact that it can have on others. I have always been a firm believer that nothing is worth doing if you are not willing to lay it on the line and put your heart and soul into it. With this mindset, I have been fortunate enough to achieve the greatest of things. The one that has and will always mean the most to me was my job in the military. I have had the great honor of serving with both the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion. For me, this was more than just a job, it was my life. The great warriors that I have served with were more than just my friends they were my family. The IED explosion ended my career in the Marine Corps and has now left me with one less limb BUT it has certainly not stripped me of the determination, perseverance, and mental toughness that I’ve gained while serving as an operator in this small community.

This project means the world to me. Not a day goes by where I do not miss the job that I loved to do. After being retired, this has been the hardest thing for me to accept. It is a tough thing to deal with, knowing that nothing you do will ever be quite on that same level. Meeting Andy has changed my life. This past July, I had the opportunity to summit Mt. Rainier through a Camp Patriot climb. It was truly a life changing experience for me. Andy and I got to know each other quite well as we spent just about 20 hours up to the summit and back. When we finally returned to Camp Muir, I was still trying to process this beautiful experience. I told Andy right there, that I wanted to do more of this and without even the slightest hesitation he began to talk about our next adventure, rock climbing at “the gunks”. Little did I know at the time, that this would be the start of an amazing relationship and even greater journey. In such a short time, Andy has helped me in so many ways. He has helped me find another passion in life and for that I can never repay him though he would probably argue that I have helped him equally. This is one of the things that we really hope to get across through these climbs, the power that someone willing to help can have on a veteran’s life just by mentoring them and sharing a passion.

Through these climbs, I hope to honor and raise money for the families of the fallen and wounded warriors of the Special Operations community.  Not a day passes that I do not think of the sacrifices they have made and how it has impacted their families, friends, and loved ones. I climb in honor of these brave warriors and the job they loved to do.

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