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May 5, 2011

Former NFL Players and Coach Climbing Kilimanjaro to Help Wounded Warrior

This is strange, because we were just wondering what former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher was up to these days. We never would have guessed this.

Get this: NFL great Tedy Bruschi (now an ESPN analyst), coach Fisher and former Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams player Chad Lewis are preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, beginning May 13. They will be joined by four injured service members, and the climb will raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.

The highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the fourth highest mountain in the world, and the tallest freestanding mountain. In preparation for their climb, Bruschi, Fisher and Lewis will travel to Nevada, Colorado, and New Hampshire for practice climbs.

Among the group of wounded warriors making the climb are Bryan Wagner, from Exeter, CA and Ben Lunak, from Grand Forks, ND, each of whom gave a leg in service to their country. Another climber, Mike Wilson, from Annapolis, MD struggles daily with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury (TBI) while Nancy Schiliro from Hartsdale, NY gave an eye in service to her country. These warriors recently completed a three day training session at Under Armour’s IMG Training Academy in Florida; participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, NM; and climbed Quandary Peak in Golden, CO.

This climb marks the launch of Wounded Warrior Project’s “Believe in Heroes” campaign.  The campaign is designed to educate the public on the challenges facing this new generation of wounded American heroes.

The group will summit Kilimanjaro from May 13-19, following a day of acclimatization in Tanzania.  The climb is intended to raise awareness of the accomplishments of our country’s wounded heroes, in addition to raising funds for WWP.  Updates on the group’s progress during the climb will be found at as well as, where there will also be opportunities for fans to donate to WWP. 

“Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro will be memorable, but to be able to experience it with service members that have sacrificed so much for our country is what I'm truly looking forward to,” said Bruschi. “These men and women are beyond inspiring, and I am thankful to the NFL for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

We wish them all a safe and memorial journey.

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