Climbing Mount Everest is one of the biggest challenges facing mountain climbers. With 100 mile per hour winds, below freezing temperatures, this is a challenge not many people want to face. It’s a challenge that most people could not face.
To bring awareness of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) to the public, a group of American veterans created U.S. Expeditions and Explorations USX (@TeamUSX) non-profit organization. Command Sergeant Major Todd Burnett (retired) co-founder of the organization provides an update on Late Night Health. The organization is designed to help soldiers and other members of the military combat PTSD. The staggering fact is more military personnel have died from suicide due to PTSD than have died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The climbing team consists of both active duty military personal as well as veterans who volunteered to bring this issue to the American people. On the team is retired Staff Sergeant Chad Jukes, who lost his right leg while serving as the lead gun truck commander on a supply convoy in northern Iraq.
In the last few weeks a friend of Burnett ended his life due to the stress of PTSD. Burnett is continuing USX to save the life of the next veteran who feels his life is on the edge. PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by terrifying events with symptoms lasting months or even years later that interfere with quality of life, and can increase suicide risk if not addressed properly.
On a happy note, one of the climbers, 1st Lieutenant Elyse Ping Medvigy was promoted to Captain on the climb. This is believed to be the first military promotion on Mount Everest.
Americans on both sides of the isle salute the members of the team and thank them for their tours of duty. To make a contribution to USX you can reach them at this website address: https://www.classy.org/checkout/donation?eid=57295
air date: 5/21/16