Sunday, December 22, 2013

Making a List, and Checking it Twice....

Christmas, and our hike, are just around the corner.  Only 83 days left until we set out on our trek north from Georgia to Maine.  Like Santa, my mom and I spent this evening laying out our equipment, refining our packing list and compiling a need to purchase list.

We used the packing list from "Appalachian Trials" by Zach Davis as our primary reference.  We weighed moms pack tonight and it came in at 22 lbs, which is right on target as we want to keep our packs around 25 lbs.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and we will chat with you soon!!

Ilene and Inge

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Going for a hike

I am a US Army female combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq and a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. This coming year, my mother and I are going to hike the Appalachian Trail. We will begin on 15 March 2014 at Springer Mountain, Georgia and will finish on about 15 October 2014 at Mount Katahdin, Maine. 

My life after war has not been easy. I was medically evacuated back from my most recent deployment to Iraq. It has been a constant struggle to physically, mentally and emotionally recover from my experiences. I have longed to get away and clear my head by hiking the Appalachian Trail.

My mother, Inge, is my biggest fan, sticking by my side through both of my deployments and post deployment struggles. My mom deserves to get away just as much as I do, and we will be hiking the trail together.

In addition to healing myself, I want to increase awareness of the rising suicide rate amongst veterans and raise funds for Stop Soldier Suicide. 

I have set up a page on to raise funds.

Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national civilian not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing Soldier and Veteran suicide. For Soldiers currently in the military, Stop Soldier Suicide works with soldiers to receive help outside their chain of command.  For veterans, Stop Soldier Suicide creates an environment built on camaraderie and mutual understanding.  Stop Soldier Suicide will provide access to resources that can often be hard to utilize once no longer on active duty and plugged in to the built-in support network that units provided.
Your contribution to our journey and Stop Soldier Suicide, is greatly appreciated. All proceeds will be donated to Stop Soldier Suicide