Reaching 19,342 ft in elevation, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and is classified as an extreme altitude mountain trek. It is comprised of three dormant volcanic cones. The overall success rate for reaching the top of Kilimanjaro is 60%.
The group will be climbing the 7-day Lemosho Route. This long and remote route to the peak of Kilimanjaro will take them through beautiful forests, moorlands and heather, alpine deserts and icy landscapes while facing extreme weather changes. This 43-mile route is dynamic and exciting, with a lot to see and experience. This route is often chosen because of its beauty and remoteness. This Route takes hikers over Lava tower before descending into Barranco Valley. They will then climb the Brannco Wall and then circle along the southern circuit to Karanga. From the Barafu Hut High Camp the climbers will summit Kilimanjaro, and then descend via the Mweka Route.
But he had lost more than two limbs…he had lost his purpose…the job he loved. For five years he was in a deep depression and self-medicated with alcohol. When he finally accepted his losses and focused on what he had, Noah was able to fight his way out of his depression.
In 2014 he was named the Men’s Health “Ultimate Men’s Health Guy“, and went on to become a finalist in Season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars”, placing third with dancer Sharna Burgess. Their contemporary dance chronicles his journey after accepting his life-changing injuries.
Noah is now a motivational speaker and author; his book, “Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier” was published in August 2016.
In this February 18th candid interview with John Rich of Fox Nation’s “The Pursuit! with John Rich” show, Noah admits, “I went into Iraq with the mindset I might die. I was prepared to die. I wasn’t prepared for the in-between.”
Staff Sergeant Travis Strong served in the US Army for 11 years. On November 27th 2006 Sergeant Strong was hit by an E.F.P. In the north eastern district of Baghdad called Shula. The E.F.P. ripped through the Stryker ICV vehicle, taking off his right leg instantly and leaving his left leg severely damaged. His brothers in arms kept him stable and rushed him back to Camp Liberty to the field Hospital. SSG Strong flatlined 4 times that night but he continued to fight, eventually waking up in the Baghdad hospital where he found out that he lost both his legs above the knees. Despite the loss of his legs, SSG Strong continues to push his limits and strives to inspire people by his actions.
Scott has two sons named Kitton and Jackson and a supportive wife named Bridgette. He helps veterans and first responders as the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.
As a double amputee war hero, Scott has accomplished running a 10K Marine Corps Marathon and has hiked Glacier Point in Yosemite. Scott’s metals include Combat Action Badge, Parachute Badge, Global War on Terrorism, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Army Expert Qualification Badge for Grenadier, marksman, and pistol.
Scott would like to add the Kilimanjaro climb to his incredible list of accomplishments. Adventures keep Scott positive and able to prove to himself that he can still overcome challenges despite his injury. Scott looks forward to building lifelong friendships with his Kilimanjaro climbing team including other war veterans. He is excited to create a bond between him and his team and support each other to complete this climb.
PVT Nimmo was stationed at Camp Horno at Camp Pendleton, CA, with 1st Marine Division HQ Company where he was attached with Combat Replacements (CRC) as a combat Field Radio Operator. Nimmo deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, from 2004-2005 with Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Phantom Fury. Pvt. Nimmo was heavily involved in many resupply missions, door-to-door combat, and security details throughout his tour of duty; he survived Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosions, fire fights, mortar attacks, and hand-to-hand combat.
PVT Nimmo was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December 2007, suffering greatly from survivor’s guilt and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He regularly endured vivid nightmares, flash backs, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and depression from his tour of duty in Fallujah, and began self-medicating with illegal drugs. After ten years of drug addiction, and self-destructive behaviors, Nimmo’s family and friends were desperate for him to find the help he needed. With their love and support, and help from the Veteran’s Administration, he finally found recovery and the brotherhood he had been missing in Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA).
Nimmo is clean and sober, due in large part to the opportunities to continue serving with SDIA. By participating in SDIA’s Disaster Response Missions and Outdoor Adventures, he has a renewed sense of purpose and has the peer support of his fellow Sheep Dogs. Nimmo has worked with SDIA for the last 3 years to help other Veterans and First Responders rediscover their true potential by encouraging them to get up off of the couch and challenge themselves through SDIA’s Outdoor Adventures.
Nimmo continues to do anything and everything he can to ENGAGE, ASSIST, and EMPOWER our nation’s Sheep Dogs to help them regain their self-confidence, self-respect, pride, and honor. Michael married the woman of his dreams, and is now eagerly awaiting his first child’s birth. Despite his continued struggle with PTSD, he has found his purpose in life with SDIA which empowers him to overcome these daily battles.
Lance Nutt served 30 years in the Marine Corps. He has three beautiful children, Katie, Connor, and McKenna. Lance Nutt is the president and founder of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance.
Besides his children, Lance is most proud of his 30 years of service in the Corps, and the opportunity to lead and serve with some of the best men and women on this planet, United States Marines and sailors. It was his greatest honor. He received multiple commendation medals and awards, several from three combat tours in Iraq.
Climbing Kilimanjaro gives Lance Nutt the opportunity to inspire fellow Sheep Dogs (veterans and first responders) to get off the couch. It is what drives him most in life. Climbing with fellow veterans like Scott West gives him the motivation to succeed, for him, and for so many others that might be inspired to do more through witnessing Scott’s journey.
Anthony "Brandon" Matteson
Sergeant Anthony Matteson served 4 years active duty and 4 years active reserve in the United States Army. He takes great pride in his family and believes that everything else in life comes second. He has a beautiful wife and daughter and he enjoys camping, drawing, and volunteering to help others. Being a troubled teen from a broken home Anthony joined the U.S. Army with the hope it would change the course of his life and it did just that.
After completing Basic Training an Infantry AIT(Advanced Individual Training) Anthony attended Airborne school where he was one of three soldiers selected for honor graduate. His first duty station was Fort Bragg and he was assigned to the rapid deployment force the 82nd Airborne Division. As part of the 82nd Sergeant Matteson completed JOTC(Jungle Operations Training Center) at Ft Sherman, Panama and he received his Jungle expert rating. He also attended and completed the Airborne Leaders Course, water survival training, and the Pre-Ranger Course along with participating in Soldier of the Month board regularly. Sgt Matteson also received the PFT(Physical Fitness Training) award for physical fitness excellence, the Expert Infantryman’s badge and Expert marksmanship badge for pistol, rifle, M203, mortar and grenade. He received his CIB(Combat Infantryman’s Badge) for combat deployments to Panama and Iraq. Sergeant Matteson earned his Ranger Tab while attached to the Ranger Training Brigade in Ft Benning, GA and graduated with Ranger class 4-90. He also attended PLDC(Primary Leadership Development Course) where he was selected and awarded the Laedership Award for his class. Sgt Matteson was also awarded Army Achievement Medals, presented multible Letters of Commedation and sveral other Certificates of Achievement.
After leaving the military he stuggled and was disabled for PT SD and at age 28 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Doctor’s said that this particular type of tumor begins to grow at birth and explains why he always had to train harder to achieve similar results as fellow soldiers. In 1999 he had neurosurgurey and Doctors at UCLA Medical Center removed it but not before it had done permanent damage to his endocrine system.
Anthony believes his life’s mission is to “inspire people to live life to their fullest potential by being an example and sharing the power of his story”. Climbing Kilimajaro does just that. It gives him the opportunity to walk next to and help fellow SheepDogs to succeed in a common mission. Anthony is so thankful to be a small part of such a big and meaningful event.
George was born and raised in Annapolis, MD and currently resides in San Diego, CA. After graduating from Boston College in 2003, he worked at Merrill Lynch for 11-years in Capital Markets & Wealth Management. He is now an entrepreneur, adventurer and endurance athlete.
George’s life is about two things – relationships & experiences…doing meaningful things with the people he loves. While he has a long list of accomplishments – including his successful corporate finance & entrepreneurial careers, finishing over 50-marathons, completing 100+ mile ultramarathons on every continent, running 3,000 miles across America in 93-days and having personally raised over $500k for charitable causes – if you asked him what he’s most proud of, it would be the relationships he’s built, the things they’ve done, the places they’ve seen, the barriers they’ve shattered and the blood, sweat, laughs & tears they’ve shared along the way.
George has spent a large chunk of his adult life encouraging others to maximize their potential and become the best versions of themselves through hard work, grit and perseverance. He often leads by example and pushes himself to the brink of what’s humanly possible to prove we’re all capable of more than we initially think. As the only member of the team to have summited Kilimanjaro, George’s goal for this climb is simple – get everyone to the top and get everyone home safely. Considering the team is 14-deep with a wide range of skill levels this will be quite a challenge, but one he is embracing. Conquering Kilimanjaro together as a purpose-driven team in spite of so many obstacles would be a lifetime achievement and prove we’re all capable of being Sheep Dogs in our daily lives.
Chris "Yeti" Jackson, LtCol (Ret), USMC
Raised in East Texas, Chris is a combat veteran with a Marine Corps career spanning over 27 years as both enlisted and officer. He loves the outdoors and adventures. He is married to his lovely wife, Val, and they have three beautiful daughters – Maddie, Ellie, and Lia.
Chris is a combat veteran and infantryman who actively participated in 3 wars – Operation DESERT SHIELD / STORM, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM – as well as other operational deployments. During his Marine Corps career, he led a variety of multi-functional organizations comprised of 30 to 5000 highly skilled professionals and managed multi-million-dollar organizations comprised of up to 8 major subordinate organizations. Additionally, Chris led the internal and external security and base support operations of the high-threat 19,000-personnel campus and the surrounding 900 square mile Area of Responsibility, including the international relationship building, and crisis response and deterrence. After retirement, he served for a period as the Chief of Operations at a Counter Human Trafficking Non-Profit organization (501c3). The organization facilitated the rescue of 620+ victims from modern slavery by developing and supervising both national and international counter-human trafficking operations in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific region. Currently, he is the Warrior PATHH Program Director for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance. Warrior PATHH is the nation’s ﬁrst non-clinical program designed to cultivate and facilitate Posttraumatic Growth. The program focuses on Combat Veterans and First Responders struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and other challenges associated with trauma. He has been extremely active in the veteran community but is particularly proud to have been part of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance for the past four years.
Chris believes deeply in the servant leader philosophy. He has struggled along his own life’s journey and found healing through his relationship with God, participation in SDIA Outdoor Adventures, and his journey through Warrior PATHH. He is going on this trip to assist wherever and however he can to ensure everyone is able to complete the goal of climbing and cresting the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Chris MacKay served in the Army, Infantry. Was in a LRS unit (Long Range Recon) overseas. The Military was his passion. All he ever wanted to do was be a soldier. He received a severe TBI and injured his back. The Army medically retired Him. He became severely depressed without a purpose and contemplated suicide as an option.
The Vet Center counselor said He should go on the Yellowstone adventure that Sheep Dog was offering.
Finally he agreed and went, it changed his life.
Now he wants other Veterans to feel the way he did. The Camaraderie alone was phenomenal.
They got him off the couch and now He helps fellow veterans and First Responders get off the couch and enjoy living life to the fullest.
CIB, EIB, EMT, Parachutist badge, Master driver, Advanced Master Gardener, Master Diver.
When it comes to the why I want to do this, it breaks in to two categories.
First reason, I dont know. I dont know why this is necessary. But it is. My hearts telling me it is. I have this drive to do it because sometimes, afterwards, only then do you realize why you had to do it.
The answers are never truly clear until the end.
Second one? For those that have helped me, Who have lifted me up. Im doing this to show that their time and dedication helped mold the warrior i am today.
After experiencing my lowest low, its time for me to begin the climb.
On my way up the mountain I will be thinking about all the people that helped me, all the people that gave positive support throughout the years to get me to where I am today. I will be thinking of my wife whom I love and cherish more than anything. She is the reason Im still here, My fellow Brothers and Sisters are why ill stay here.
My mission is clear. Service.
For the past 29 years, photojournalist and now retired (2013) USAF Military Combat Photographer MSgt. Jeremy Lock directed his lens towards the elements of the world that many of us will never have the opportunity or even the desire to see first hand. His images are beautiful, heartbreaking, provocative and devastating – sometimes all in the same frame.
“My photographic journey is rooted in my ability to capture the essence and reality of humanity at its finest and at its worst,” says Jeremy. “I’ve captured everything from the hunt for Osama bin Laden, to the playful nature of our young military who are defending our freedom, and the plight of humans in search of food after the Haiti earthquake disaster.”
Jeremy is a believer that he hasn’t accomplished his greatest achievement or taken his most meaningful photo yet. He is 21-Year Air Force Photojournalist, Bronze Star Recipient, & 7-Time Military Photographer Of The Year and the host of a new podcast called “Last Letters”. Last Letters podcast asks each guest a simple question, “If tomorrow was your final day on Earth, what would your last letter be?” The goal is to build a platform showcasing human experiences without judgment or agenda. At the core of each of us are shared understandings we are all flawed, all breathing, all feeling, all beautiful, and ALL HUMAN.
Because there is more to the world than what is outside your front door and what better way to experience it and find purpose than surrounded by your brothers and sisters on an amazing journey together pushing each other to find life and our purpose.