On September 11, 2011—the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks—the Sierra Club's Military Outdoors program partnered with Veterans Expeditions of Boulder, Colorado, in recruiting and training eight veterans to summit the Grand Teton in Wyoming.
Stacy Bare, Military Families and Veterans Affairs Representative for the Sierra Club, helped train the climbers and accompanied them on the ascent of the Grand Teton. A former U.S. Army Captain and Bronze Star recipient, Bare served in Bosnia and Iraq, and spent time as a civilian explosive ordnance disposal technician in Angola and the Republic of Georgia.
Bare was serving in the Individual Ready Reserve when he was called back to active duty in late 2005. He was the Director of National Programs for Veterans Green Jobs before starting Veterans Expeditions. That's Bare pictured above, and below at center with other members of the Grand Teton expedition. The Grand Teton is the second peak from the right in the background.
Here is Bare's account of the expedition:
The program started four months before the actual climbing event through outreach to the military and veteran community to get them hiking and working towards the summit attempt of the Grand Teton. The team trained all summer in the Colorado high country with Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides of Boulder, and in Wyoming with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. The training paid off with an efficient team effort on summit day.
This team of veterans had endured the hardships of military service, fought through the struggles of a difficult transition back to civilian life, and climbed with the thoughts of all those who could not join us. The fallen, the broken, the suffering, were all there with us in our hearts.
We climbed for all those who have suffered as a result of 9/11/01. We climbed with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, prosthetic legs, missing fingers, and broken bodies disabled by roadside bombs. We climbed so that other veterans would be motivated to get off the couch and regain that fire again. We climbed to reverse the negative statistics that plague the veteran community. We climbed to raise our arms on the summit and bring a positive experience to this difficult day in our nation's history.