Louisville, CO (May 5, 2015) – MILLET, the French based manufacturer of technical outdoor apparel and equipment, has selected Veterans Expeditions’ (VetEx) upcoming Denali summit attempt, Climb for the Fallen, as one of six winning expeditions to receive assistance through the Millet Expedition Project. This is the first time a US team has been awarded the international grant.
VetEx is a Colorado-based non-profit that uses wilderness challenges to connect veterans, create community and raise awareness. Many veterans find that after they separate from the military, a sense of mission and purpose is missing from their life. They feel isolated, different, or just bored, and depression, drug use, incarceration and homelessness plague many. Inspired by their own experiences with the healing power of nature, veterans Nick Watson and Stacy Bare launched VetEx in spring 2010. “Ultimately, it’s our hope that we can show other veterans how to find some peace within themselves through finding peace outside,” says Watson, a former Sergeant in the Army Rangers.
This spring, VetEx will set out on their most ambitious objective yet, as a team of seven veterans attempt a self-guided summit of Alaska’s Denali (aka Mt. McKinley), which at 20,320’ is North America’s highest. While a monumental feat for these vets and inspirational to others, this massive endeavor also comes with a long and expensive list of equipment and travel costs, which is the very reason that the Millet Expedition Project exists.
Over the past seven years, the Millet Expedition Project has supported approximately 78expeditions, with more than 300 individual prize-winners who have traveled through more than 40 countries, practicing around 30 different disciplines, including skiing, canoeing, hiking, climbing, diving, and paragliding. Because there are no limits or parameters as to what defines “expedition”, this grant program has had broad appeal, as winners have gone on everything from human aid missions, to extreme outdoor adventures and exploration of remote areas of the world. This year, 70 applications from around the globe were submitted. Following a detailed review and interview process, a panel of international outdoor industry experts narrowed it down to six winners, including VetEx.
“The Climb for the Fallen project was very interesting to us, for several reasons,” explains France based Patrice Folliet, Millet Communications Manager. “Veteran affairs in the US are very different from those in France,” he continued. “And while climbing the world’s highest mountains is core to the Millet DNA, making a Denali expedition a natural fit, we were equally moved by the motivation for this expedition, and the good it will do for many.”
VetEx is being awarded $8,000 worth of expert-level MILLET expedition wear for the team, and will leave for Alaska in the middle of May. They are prepared for 28 days on the mountain.
“Being selected as a winner of the Millet Expedition Project Grant means a great deal to our organization, our active military and veterans, and our Climb For the Fallen Denali Team,” says Watson. “We are honored to be the first US Expedition selected in this international grant process, and winning this grant is helping to make our expedition possible.”
For more information, please contact Maro LaBlance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MILLET: Based in the heart of the French Alps, MILLET has been developing technical outdoor gear and apparel since 1934. MILLET designs, tests and approves each development in its natural lab, the Mont Blanc Massif, with pure practitioners: its technical advisers and members of the Chamonix Mountain Guides. Backpacks, footwear, ropes, sleeping bags, and apparel – MILLET's mission is to equip those who thrive on outdoor adventure with best in class gear to help us all reach the top.
About VETEX: Veterans Expeditions (VetEx) is a veteran led non-profit operating trips and expeditions for veterans throughout North America. We use wilderness challenges to connect all veterans, create community and raise awareness. Our work supports the reintegration of veterans into society and empowers them to overcome the challenges many face following military service.