Home / A Living Memorial / TSP at 100MW and the AT 2014

In July 2014, The Wilderness Walk for Warriors partnered with The Summit Project to complete a tribute trek in honor of Maine’s fallen.

Congratulations to Chris Robinson and his hiking team for completing 114 miles of the Appalachian Trail as part of The Summit Project living memorial. Chris and his team coordinated with TSP very early on, trained for months, and summited Katahdin last week while carrying seven TSP memorial stones and honoring our heroes. Their trip reports and personal reflections are forthcoming, but right now, we wish him and the entire team a sincere congratulations for completing a very physically and mentally challenging event (which included the toughest section of the AT – the 100 mile wilderness) — all to honor the fallen while challenging the living. They carried the stones for the hike but will carry their stories for a lifetime. Great work Chris. Thanks for being part of the living memorial. Thanks for sharing TSP with so many others along the trail. MHANF.

 

Here is a link to a news story that covered their trek.

 
 

5 Comments

  1. Comment from Chris Robinson — Leader of WWW and partner with TSP.

    Several months ago I formed an organization called Wilderness Walk for Warriors. This organization ( which has a facebook page ) has a dual purpose mission. First to assist Maine Veterans and their families and secondly to honor the sacrifices of our Maine heroes.

    I accidently stumbled upon Major David Cote ( The Summit Project Page ) and reached out to Dave to work in conjunction with each other.

    As part of this process my team of seven individuals went through a connection process to identify / make connection with the stone that they were to carry through the 100 Mile Wilderness and ultimately to the top of Mt. Katahdin.

    I found myself drawn to one stone in particular. Lt. James Zimmerman. This Marine officer was the epitome of what I believe we as individuals should strive for. Willing to give back to one’s country and society , active and well liked by all , and a very physically active person.

    All characteristics that I appreciate and respect deeply.

    After I had chosen Lt. Zimmerman’s stone I made positive contact with Jane Zimmerman. James mother. I will paraphrase a bit of what she said but it meant so very much. This is after telling Jane about the 114 mile hike and that I would have the honor of carrying her sons stone through the 100 Mile Wilderness and to the top of Mt. Katahdin.

    Paraphrasing , a response letter back to me. “ It is amazing the people God has brought into our lives to help carry the burden and pain.” ( Jane Zimmerman)

    It struck me right then as I read Jane’s email that I was tasked with a great honor to carry her son’s stone. It was to be a privilege to carry that stone and the man it represents.

    Our journey commenced on July 18th as we were escorted by numerous supporters. Maine Patriot Guard Riders , American Legion Riders , Maine State Police , Penobscot County Sheriff’s Dept. , D.E.E.M.I Humvees , and many others.

    In the excitement of the journey we were about to embark upon , I had to humble and remind myself this trip was about “Them” , “For Them”.

    It was about honoring the memories of fallen Maine heroes and as well raising money for Maine Veterans and their families.

    In Monson , we were greeted , interviewed by Fox 22 and WABI Channel 5 of Bangor.

    All seven stones were respectfully displayed as we had a trailside memorial service before we embarked on our Honor Hike.

    Over the course of the next nine days all seven of the team members felt the physical pain as we carried the stones with honor for 114 miles. As part of our trip design , we opted for no resupply. I thought that with no resupply and with the weight of the stone that it would be more arduous in nature and more of a heart felt journey on the part of my team.

    Blisters developed , scrapes , bruises , torn muscles were all part of the next nine days. Each team member was carrying on average about sixty pounds.

    Shoulders became torn and raw from the pack straps. And as all this was happening we as a team embraced this discomfort. We knew the pain and suffering we were going through was so very little compared to what the heroes whose stones we were carrying had.

    On the ninth day we made the ascent to the top of Mt. Katahdin. One of the team members carrying the heaviest of Stones fell , dislocating his shoulder out of socket. A doctor was hiking behind team member and reset his shoulder. He carried on to the top in pain , but again , realizing it was insignificant pain in relation to the Stone he was carrying.

    It was with this great attitude that all seven members of the team approached this task / honor / privilege.

    My cousin Tim Young , ordained minister hiked to the top with us on the ninth day from Katahdin Stream Campground.

    At the top we had another service honoring the stones , their memories , and what they represent.

    There were at the time approximately 40-50 other hikers at the top. They all turned their attention to the service and followed along. At the service end , a spontaneous applause broke out from all the hikers. It was a very special moment for the team but more importantly , for the Maine Heroes whose stones we had the honor to carry. God bless them , The Summit Project , Maj. David Cote , and all the family members.

    With deep respect ,
    Chris Robinson / Founder
    Wilderness Walk for Warriors

     
  2. Mr. Timothy Robinson wrote —

    Wilderness Walk for Warriors is first to assist Maine Veterans and their families and secondly to honor the sacrifices of our Maine heroes and, I have decided to be part of the Wilderness Walk for Warriors as a commitment to continue to serve. although someday the uniform will fall away I will always remain loyal to my brothers in arms and as a pledge of this commitment I have co-founded this organization with the support of my wife so as to be a life commitment to my God ,fellow patriots and the Constitution of these United States. My reason to hike was to raise greater awareness of veterans in Maine that have passed in combat and have paid the ultimate cost although this is not the single reasoning , still typically many Maine veterans are left without . I have seen it to be that a veteran may need wood delivered or a special bed or a wheel chair or ,a ramp built for that chair ,house repairs .etc . Whatever the need whatever the injury with a clean heart we will serve the needs of our veterans with this Foundation Wilderness Walk for Warriors God Willing .

    Further more I am very pleased that i was chosen to carry a Summit Project stone of Cpl Andrew Hutchins Andrew was from South Portland and immediately i was drawn to his memory because he was a fisherman and avid outdoorsman also he was part of the 101st Airborne Division which my son is currently deployed with to Afghanistan. I found it a great honor to carry Andrews stone and i have corresponded with his dad Jeff Hutchins via e-mail .Jeff has been very supportive of the endeavor and i hope to meet him in the future. I found myself reflecting and thinking of everything about Andrew many blanks remain but, i know he is a hero for his service and sacrifice.

    Our journey commenced on July 18th as we were escorted by numerous supporters. Maine Patriot Guard Riders , American Legion Riders , Maine State Police , Penobscot County Sheriff’s Dept. , D.E.E.M.I Humvees , and many others. arriving in Monson with a trail side service and the stones given out to individual hikers we embarked on a hike of some 121 miles through the worst ground known to man with dislocated shoulders ,twisted ankles ,swollen knees, feet and blisters the size of Texas and every imaginable ache we were honored to feel the pain .Although i joined the service In 1989 and have served 25 years i never will be able to give enough to these heros that gave all so i dont care how bad my two surgery back or my fake knee hurt it was really just good to be alone walking reflecting honoring Andrew knowing he is a saint for there is no greater love than one that gives his life for another thank u Andrew. We finished on the mountain with a ceremony where we all had a opportunity to speak about the stones with a tear filled event and upwards of fifty strangers honoring the stones i was humbled again and so proud of all involved and happy to be part of such a project thank you.

    Sincerely,

    SSG Robinson Det 2 3/142 Aviation Air Assault

     
  3. Thomas Steeves wrote –

    When I signed on to do this hike I was told that we would be carrying stones engraved with the names of fallen soldiers on them. We were told that we had to find a personal connection with a stone and that would be the way one that we would take. I had been gone in the Army for so long that I didn’t really know any of the men that were honored on the stones so how was I supposed to have a connection with any of them.

    One night I was reading through the stories of the stones and I saw SFC Aaron Henderson who was special forces. My childhood hero and the man that inspired me to join the Army and choose the path that I took was SFC Joseph RL Blair, my uncle who was also special forces in the same group and company that Aaron was in only 45 years before. He was killed saving his team members on a patrol in Vietnam.

    When I read Aaron’s story the tears in my eyes told me that he was the stone that I needed to carry. His loyalty and sacrifice was that of a true hero like my uncle.

    During our hike every time I took him out of my bag for a photo opportunity I would tell him were we where and I would read out loud the sign that we where taking a picture of. It made it feel like he was there with me. Knowing the things that Aaron liked to do, I would sit him beside me while I was fishing or eating lunch overlooking a mountain or lake.

    These stones, much like the hike was a very emotional and spiritual journey for me. It not only reminded me of why I was carrying a fallen hero with me, but also of the friends that I had lost while on my own deployments. Not once was Aaron’s sacrifice forgotten in that nine days, but now since the hike Aaron is always included in my prayers at night.

    Like my Uncle a man I never met, Aaron will forever inspire me.

     
  4. Joshua Blaine wrote —

    My name is Joshua Blaine and I carried Capt. Cash stone across the 100 Mile Wilderness with Wilderness Walk For Warriors. My connection with the stone was the fact that it was the heaviest I had to bare the most weight from the stone. This being said the weight of the stone is like the weight carried on Capt Cash shoulders from everyone else he led. He was a leader and took charge and bared the weight of his men. As we hiked the wilderness I was in the lead for majority of the time. While hiking up Katahdin I had dislocated my shoulder half way up. I decided that I couldn’t turn around at this point after making it this far. I ended up carrying my stone by hand the rest of the way up and down the mountain. Carrying the maps the last few days and helping to motivate and raise moral of the group. Until we reached the top of katahdin I didn’t really think much of carrying the stone. Once I got to the top though and the ceremony started I was feeling overwhelmed. It wasn’t until then that I realized the importance of what we just accomplished.

     
  5. Mr. Gary L. Wright Jr. wrote —

    My name is Gary White Jr. and I was one of the team members on the wilderness walk for warriors team, who embarked on the 114 mile trek from Monson to Katahdin carrying the memorial stones..
    I was honored to go on this hike and carry the stone of MSGT Ryan C C Love. I have made contact with his family several times before and after the hike and will meet them to share videos and pictures on the 10th of this month at Raye Rolston’s home.
    The hike was amazing full of adventure and memories.. You go into this hike as seven strangers but come out as friends. I personally made a great connection with Joe Treadwell and Gary Shea, we just clicked and this made the trip so much fun…I know we all had a responsibility to ourselves and to the families to carry the stone and we all prevailed.. There were a few guys with slight injuries but that is nothing in comparison to what these fallen veterans and their families have endured..
    I watched the videos and chose Ryans stone for several reasons.. First I listen to how he had a rough childhood, how he never had much, but he became a great soldier, father and Great son in law to Raye..She spoke of his first motorcycle and how it was junk, my wife and I laughed then cried to hear her speak of how much she loved this man. I knew this was the guy I was destined to carry…..
    I have taken many videos and many pictures on this trip and am in the process of putting them on dvd to present to Raye this weekend when my family and I will meet her and learn all about Ryan… Who he was, what he did, all about him I am so excited to meet her.
    I feel that carrying this stone on this journey changed me. You realize how much this means to the families and how good it feels to be a part of it. Raye has said on numerous occasions how she is so honored to meet me and have me carry the stone but the honor is all mine…Thank you so much for this opportunity…
    I hope in the future I can be a part of something like this again maybe another hike or other function that raises awareness and is for a great cause such as the fundraiser we also were involved in to benefit the veterans and their families because if not for them none of this would be possible…..Sincerely Gary L White Jr.

     

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