Attention TSP family —
“I lost my grandson, SPC Dustin James Harris,” says James Troutt.
James Troutt was one of 20 folks who took a dip at Camp Jordan in Ellsworth Saturday-part of The Summit Project’s first-ever Polar Plunge fundraiser.
“My last name is Troutt but I’ll tell you what, this ice looks pretty cold. But anything for our heroes,” says Troutt.
The Summit Project is a nonprofit that’s created a living memorial to fallen service members–by engraving stones with their names.
“If you go on a hike, you climb a mountain, you do anything with these stones, it’s a lifetime to remember,” says Troutt.
Since 2009 folks have carried the stones to Maine’s highest peaks…or in this case into Branch Lake.
“Through this act of solidarity, we can appreciate what service means and what sacrifice means. We can keep alive the memories of our fallen service members from Maine,” says David Cote.
The Summit Project founder David Cote says hitting the icy water is a small price to pay compared to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“If you think about what our service members go through, carrying their heavy packs, having weapons, engaging the enemy, being away from their families. We got dried off real fast, but it helped us appreciate their service and their sacrifice. And that’s what being Mainers is all about. We’re one big family and we’ve got to stick together,” says Cote.
“His name is Christopher Wilson. Last summer I had the honor and privilege of carrying his stone up to Millinocket,” says Phillip Shaunesey.
For Philip Shaunesey, the plunge was a chance to reconnect with Wilson’s memory.
“Chills down your spine when I saw his stone sitting on the table there. so I wanted to be sure I could carry his,” says Shaunesey.
Braving the cold and honoring those whose bravery knew *no* bounds–one stone at a time.