To the families of Sgt. Lawrence Roukey and Sgt. 1st class Shawn Dostie;
I want to start by thanking you for allowing us to take your loved ones on our trek, they made our trip what it was, so very inspiring and special.
I as well as 17 year old Parker Bradbury, his twin brother, Noah, their 13 year old sister Faith and their Dad, George Lee Bradbury had the honor of taking not only Sgt. Lawrence Roukey’s stone to the summit of Moxie Bald but also Parker carried Sgt. 1st class Shawn Dostie’s stone to the summit.
Parker and I signed the stones out of the MEPS office in Portland on August 14th, at approximately 0910 hours, we were a bit late due to traffic we were supposed to be there at 0900, the thought that kept going through my head as I clock watched the entire way from Windham to Portland was; these two Sgt’s would be put together and would not be late. I called and explained we would be a few minutes late however, I was still feeling guilty as I would expect my new CO recruits to be on time and I was at this point not holding my end of this bargain. As I reminisced I felt this may be par for the course for this trek as the original trek was supposed to be Katahdin and over knifes edge but reservations being what they are we had to make lemonade from lemons and it turned out sweeter than we could ever have expected. We left for Kew Bear Camp late that afternoon with Sgt. Roukey and Sgt. 1st class Dostie tucked comfortably in my and Parkers packs, they were protected by the shroud type bags dusted with American flags that came from MEPS. Saturday morning, our hostess and chef Chrissy Cota made breakfast as an Appalachian Trail through hiker stopped by the cabin for fresh water and we invited him in for a bite to eat. Parker proudly displayed the Summit stones and explained to “Fin” what they were and all about our trek to this hiker who had come from Georgia and was on his way back to clear his head. One and a half hours with us and “Fin” was ready to leave trail and go home, apparently he thought we were crazy or we inspired him, personally I think the later is the truth.
We hit trail starting at the Baker run river at 1100 crossing the river with Sgt. Roukey and Sgt. 1st class Dostie was a bit of a challenge however rock hopping no one got their feet wet and we were well on our way. The weight of Sgt. Roukeys stone was measurable to an extra water bottle, Sgt. 1st class Dostie’s was a bit more, but Parker carried it without complaint. This was Faith’s first hike since she was very small; however, she hiked like a Trooper, we can only say that the two Sgt’s we carried and God were with her and the rest of us as we walked and climbed to over 2600 feet. Along the way we met many through hikers, as we stopped and spoke with each, I thought of being in the field with Sgt. Roukey and Sgt. 1st class Dostie and what they would have said to these hikers, they both were Leaders, they both were trainers, they both had words of encouragement, wisdom and honesty for the men and women who worked with them.
As we started out of the wooded cover and onto the rock face near the summit, a light rain started to fall, this was a blessing as the heat was approximately 85 and the humidity made the day about 95. We commented that the Sgt’s and God were definitely walking with us, watching over us and helping guide us and keep us safe. As we reached the summit for lunch and pictures the rain stopped, again we knew Sgt. Roukey and Sgt. 1st class Dostie were with us making sure our trek was memorable and impressive. As we ate we conversed with a few more hikers on their way to Katahdin and the summit we were supposed to peak this particular weekend. We all made a pact sitting on top of Moxie Bald that we would take these two Leaders and Military Hero’s to Katahdin with us and started to plan our second Summit Project trek, “Maine the Way Life Should Be” yes so very true especially when you have the privilege of sitting on top of beautiful mountains with Military Hero’s.
Our trek down the mountain was uneventful, we played in mud, saw minimal wild life due to the heat, but enjoyed the peace that comes from the wilderness. On September 11th we will once again sign out Sgt. Lawrence Roukey and Sgt. 1st class Shawn Dostie’s Summit Stones and take them to Katahdin with us we will be hiking to the summit and over Knifes edge on the 12th. This is an open invitation to anyone caring to come with us, make your reservations now the more the merrier. Ryann Roukey, we said Happy Birthday to you at the top of Moxie Bald and I know Larry was with us saying it as loud as he could, I could not quit get them to sing. We are so very proud to have taken these stones with us on our first trek, we will so proudly take them on our second, and as they are both avid hikers we know that is why we will have yet again another aw inspiring trip as we carry them because they will be with us in spirit.
Thank you again for allowing us into your life, and letting us be a part of helping to remember who these Hero’s were.
Carol A. Waig and the Bradbury Gang