2017 Expedition

Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps

State: Texas

Edward Mertz served on active duty for fourteen years as Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. During that time he deployed four times – three tours to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. During his last deployment, the convoy he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb.

The recovery from multiple combat deployments and resulting injuries has made it tough. Shortly after his retirement, Edward was diagnosed with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, which resulted in having his entire right kidney removed.

Following his illness, Edward says his motivation declined and he struggled to find purpose. Edward found a renewed sense of solace in fishing and getting back to nature. With the support of his wife of fifteen years and his three children, he was able to return to the things he loved: hiking, fishing, camping, swimming, and kayaking.

Edward hopes that Warriors to Summits will renew his sense of belonging and will increase his individual pride. He misses the camaraderie and group efforts that were so prevalent during his Marine Corps career. Edward says he is his own barrier, and he knows this expedition will allow him to push himself again and regain confidence, alongside his fellow veterans.

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