8000 Meters for 8000 Veterans...
There are over 8000 Veteran Suicides each Year
Contact Me: Mike@Summitforsolders.org
About My Mission:
SUMMIT, SUMMIT, SUMMIT...
Hello, My name is C. Michael Fairman. I was a US Navy (FMF) Corpsman for almost 19 years, serving both on active duty and the reserves. In 2010/2011 I deployed to Afghanistan with the USMC Infantry. I live with Bipolar, Depression and PTSD.
In 2012 I tried to take my life... given a second chance I returned to the one therapeutic thing that has always worked for me... climbing! On 19 May 2016, I stood on the summit of Mt Everest, hoping this (and all my climbs) would become an encouragement to others by showing that you 'CAN' reclaim your life and take on any challenge that comes your way! More importantly, to carry the Silently Fallen flag bearing the names of brothers and sisters within our group that we have lost to suicide. Never Forget, Always Remembered
Summit for Soldiers began as the personal mission of Steve Redenbaugh and myself to bring awareness to PTSD and Veteran Suicide through our climbing. In 2014 we turned this mission into an official 501(c)3 non-profit, run by our team of “Re-abled” veterans on “Re-purposed” missions through our “Adven-Therapy” programs and community outreach to serve other struggling veterans. Our simple approach through camaraderie, encouragement and peer-to-peer support coupled with outdoor activities has resulted in veterans who are committed to walk beside each other down the difficult road of mental health recovery... and this is how we are saving lives!
The next adventure... An Educational Journey
The Educational Journey continues...
First I would like to thank the OSU History Department and the College of Arts and Sciences for featuring my story and mission. You can catch the article here: Mountain Climber, Veteran, History Major
I have always felt that no matter how much you may know about a subject, there is always still more that you can learn. My courses at The Ohio State University have been challenging, but fun. Now... not to be a grade grabber, and I suppose it is because I am older and can fully focus on my studies, but I have been able to accomplish something this high school drop-out has never managed to do before... maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking on full and challenging semesters. Now that said, I am sure there is a humbling course lurking around the corner, and I would like to stress that it is not about the "grade" or maintaining a 4.0 GPA (yep, just wanted to mention that again) it is about applying yourself and not cheating yourself out of the learning opportunity. What I "learned" in the military was the importance of self discipline, attention to detail, integrity and the ability to look in the mirror and ask myself, "am I giving it my best effort, am I learning from my mistakes and can I acknowledge not just my strengths, but my weaknesses." In the military a good leader is not one that know it all, they are the ones that know they "don't" know it all and how to delegate or defer to those that do. I never expected to do so well, I had hoped to get good grades, but nothing like this. You see, I am not some super smart person, I'm old and I forget more things than I can remember, but I love to learn and I know how to ask for help and understanding where I lack. If you embrace and approach the challenge understanding these things, then even a not so educated person like myself can do quite well. It is like climbing Mount Everest, where you take your time and put one foot in front of the other, each step its own little mission, and perhaps you might find yourself on the summit, or more importantly recognizing the need and time to turn around. And if that time comes you will do it with your head held high because you know it was about enjoying the accomplished mission of each of those "little steps" and not how many of those little steps you took.
This Fall Semester I made the decision to take a break from my studies. I recently lost my mother (I still need to process that) and while school might be a good distraction, I recognized that I will not be able to give it my full attention and efforts. So, I cancelled my classes and will use this time to focus on my family, write, continue my violin lessons, and just relax. I will return full swing into my studies in the spring.
Follow the Blog here: Old Man in School
The 750 Endeavor
UPDATE: Woke up and decided to take a road trip! Found a willing victim, Paul Fitzgerald, to join me as we head out to New Mexico and Arizona to try and hike a few more high points before the snows come. Stay Tuned!
2019 Vinson massif EXPEDITION
VINSON PARTNERS and Sponsors
14 Jan 2019: Summit, Summit, Summit! The Silently Fallen Flag has been raised on the top of Antarctica’s highest mountain... Mount Vinson!
Stay Tuned for Pictures and Posts...
FOLLOW the "TWEETS" Below, or ClicK for the ANTARCTICA BLOG PAGE
what is the 750
The 7-50 Club! There are around 5000 people who have summited Mt. Everest, of those less than 500 have completed the 7-summits. There are around 450 people that have completed all 50-state highpoints, and only 6 people on record have completed both the 50 States and the 7-summits! With 4 of the 7 Summits reached, along with 41 State highpoints completed, my quest is to continue my efforts to carry our Message and the Silently Fallen Flag to complete both of these challenging objectives and possibly become the first veteran to do so. Our hope through this effort is to draw much needed attention to help us to eliminate the Stigma revolving around mental health issues, rally support for our veterans and their families, and encourage other veterans to reclaim their lives and overcome any obstacle or challenge that may come their way... especially the most difficult challenge of all... simply reaching out for help!
I Climb these Mountains One Step at a time... I reclaim my life One Day at a time...
You can as well... so please, just raise your hand and you might be surprised who grabs it!
While these climbs carry a powerful message, not one of these climbs would have ever happened if not for the support and efforts of our Summit for Soldiers team, and the work they are doing right here in our local communities. This SfS team of veterans, families and community partners have committed themselves to one-another and they have literally kept me alive! I am but one member of a much larger team.
(DISCLAIMER: Not one cent that comes into Summit for Soldiers (organization) is used for my personal climbs and expeditions. My climbs are supported out of pocket and by individuals and sponsors wishing to help me realize my objective.)
So, Thank You to everyone who helped to make this Vision grow and our Mission carry on!
C. Michael Fairman
The Summits so Far...
19 Nov 2018: Kosciuszko Summited!
UPDATE: The Seven Summits Update: Beth, Emy and Karla joined me as we summited Australia's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko. Now I know some of you “climbing folk” might disagree, calling the continent "Oceania" which would make Cartenz Pyramid the highest, but I prefer the original Dick Bass and Frank Wells version! Besides, mine is for a reason other than just climbing!
The "Silently Fallen" Flag
CLICK on the image or the tab at the top of the page to visit the Wall of the Fallen Warriors from their Silent Wounds. I will carry their names with me to the summits of these climbs and I PROMISE they will NEVER be Forgotten! If you would like to add a name in memory of your loved one, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorship Opportunities: Please contact : email@example.com.