Phase I: Thorough Preparation

This is Part One of a three-part blog series describing each of the three phases of our comprehensive No Barriers Warriors program. We believe that the combination of the three phases creates the ultimate transformative experience. This blog describes Phase I: Thorough Preparation, as told by Warriors’ Director John Toth:

It’s 1am. I’m sound asleep. Phone rings. It’s the sergeant on duty telling me that my unit’s been alerted. Recall formation at 3am. “Bring all your gear – you won’t be home for dinner,” he says. My pulse quickens. I grab my ruck, truck keys, a cup of coffee, kiss my wife goodbye and head out the door.

At the unit, it’s an hub of activity. Weapons being issued. Sergeants checking gear one last time. Trucks lining up to take the unit to the staging area. NCOs standing around the first sergeants desk getting answers to a thousand questions. The anticipation, excitement, and energy are palpable. You can feel it in the air.

Finally you form up, load up and head out. Noting to it but to do it!

Phase I is kind of like that.

This coming week, on April 19th, we’ll announce our 2016 Warriors to Summits Team. Twenty-six veterans will get the call and start preparing for this incredible experience, coming together to tackle their own summit.

The thrill of getting the call: You’ve been selected for a team.

The questions: Where are we going? What should I bring? Don’t forget your woobie!

The anticipation: We’re going how high? What mountain range is that? This sounds incredible.

The thrill of the unknown: What do I need to do to get ready? How many miles will we go each day? What’s the elevation gain?

We’ll answer all these questions and more while making sure our veterans are ready to head out, gear in hand. The preparation phase is designed to thoroughly equip our participants, mentally and physically, for the journey ahead. We’ll provide them with enough information to start working out, set expectations, and develop some internal goals. Through a detailed set of contacts over the next two months, we’ll make sure our veterans have everything they need to tackle their summit.

A lot of deployments.  A lot of training exercises. A lot of time away from home. Had a lot of all those. Loved every one. Sometimes, I wish I could go back and relive it all over again. Good times.

Today, I’m just glad I’ll have the opportunity to experience those feelings all over again with a new group of brothers and sisters. Can’t wait to get the call; I just hope it doesn’t come at 1am.