Warrior Wednesday

Army Sgt. Jason W. Swiger

Jason Swiger

24, of South Portland, Maine; assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died March 25 in Baqubah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Also killed were Cpl. Jason Nunez, Pfc. Orlando E. Gonzalez and Pfc. Anthony J. White.

Here is a living memorial testimonial to Army Sgt. Jason Swiger:

Zachary Sotiriou says

October 10, 2014 at 6:59 am

On October 4th I took part on The Summit Project’s hike up Mt. Cadillac. I had the humble honor of carrying the stone of SGT. Jason W. Swiger. In the weeks leading up to the hike I did a lot of research on this brave young man. He was a poet, singer and had planned on making the military his career. I found more than one testimonial about Jason’s great sense of right and wrong and how he always stood up for what he believed in. He was a selfless person who grew up amongst many foster children. As I hiked the mountain it was not lost on me the significance of his sacrifice for this country. Were it not for the actions of this great soul and many others like him I may never have even had the opportunity or freedom to take part in a leisurely hike let alone one with this much significance. When times got a little tougher on the mountain I just envisioned what Jason had been through and how he wouldn’t let something as small as rain, wind or slick rocks stop him from reaching his goal. This gave me all the strength I could ever need to complete the hike. I feel now that I have a new appreciation for Jason and all other fallen heroes. These people sacrificed their time, energy and lives all in the name of what they thought was right. Jason answered the call of his country and the amount of respect I have for him is endless. I pledge that I will do everything in my power to keep Jason’s memory alive. I will share his story and encourage others to do the same. Thank you to all my fellow hikers and The Summit Project for this incredible experience. Finally and most of all I want to thank the Swiger family for allowing me the honor of carrying Jason’s stone. Your hero, is not forgotten.

TMCV reminds our readers that The Summit Project, the families of the fallen, and the hikers providing these living memorials are not associated with The Maine Conservative Voice in any way and do not necessarily endorse, condone, or validate the views, opinions, and agenda regularly expressed by TMCV on this web blog.  Warrior Wednesday is simply an opportunity, once a week, to honor Maine’s fallen heroes free from political intrigue and strife. The Summit Project does not identify with a political party or idealogical persuasion. TSP reveals the character of Maine, a character of service, sacrifice, duty, and Patriotism. Please support The Summit Project and all they do for Maine’s fallen heroes.


Warrior Wednesday

As many of you noted, I recently went on a snowshoe hike with my two boys not long ago.  This was my introduction to The Summit Project.  The hikes are what they call a living memorial, as hikers carry memorial stones up mountains in honor of Maine’s fallen heroes.  Hikers then write testimonials of their experiences leading up to and during the hike to honor the fallen.

I will be sharing one testimonial each week on Wednesday from The Summit Project.  It’s important to emphasize that none of these hikers and testimonials have any affiliation or are endorsing The Maine Conservative Voice in any way.  It is my hope that once a week we take a brief respite from the ideological battles and honor those who have given their all so we can do what we do.  So please be looking for Warrior Wednesday and share it with your friends as a way to honor Maine’s bravest.



Another Article on The Summit Project

Just saw a great article by Ashley Conti in Bangor Daily News on The Summit Project hike.  Ashley hiked with us to the peak of Borestone to cover the hike for BDN.  We were impressed with her hiking abilities.  It was obvious that she had done this a few times more than most us. What impressed all of us the most, though, was her willingness to help out one of our hikers who could not finish the hike because of injury by carrying the memorial stone to the top.  She didn’t have to but she willingly offered and it really meant a lot to all of us.

I know I tend to grab an issue and run with it.  I typically apologize and….actually…..no, I don’t.  So don’t expect me to now.  If you look at the video footage Ashley has taken of the Borestone hike you will understand why so many people are so excited about The Summit Project and why you should be too.  Read her piece here.


(Maine Heroes Are Never Forgotten)

What is The Summit Project?

readytogoIn a recent post, I recounted my experiences snowshoeing up Borestone Mountain carrying a memorial stone in honor of a young soldier, PFC Tyler Springmann. Some may be wondering why I did this and who organizes these hike. I’d like to post a short description of why a bunch of people would hike a mountain in the middle of winter with stones in our backpacks.

For me, its pretty simple. I’m the son of a Vietnam vet and have always had a special place in my heart for our military. I like hiking. My father was Pastor of a church in Berlin, N.H. and I have fond memories of climbing Mt. Washington with him along with my brother. My two boys have caught the hiking bug and we have been making memories together.

atsunset So when my brother-in-law told me about this group called The Summit Project, described the hike that he took with them, and shared the emotions he felt during the trek, I immediately knew this was something I wanted to do with my boys. It seemed to me a perfect marriage of a couple of passions that I have. I also thought this was a great way to help instill in my sons a healthy respect for our soldiers and a better understanding of the solemn magnitude of the price of freedom.

What is The Summit Project? The Summit Project is the culmination of a vision David Cote had to find a uniquetsp-logo-blue2 way to honor fallen warriors with more than just a token sentiment, but something that required some sort of sacrifice by the living to honor the dead. He conceived this idea while hiking with Navy Seals in the mountains of California. When the Seals reached the summit they pulled stones from their pack and piled them in small hidden area to honor any Seals that had fallen in battle that past year. For Dave Cote, who watched in admiration, this quiet ritual was the seed of a dream for The Summit Project, planted by the Navy Seals on mountain in California.andrewbaseofsummit

What if everyday civilians from Maine took the time to learn the story of a fallen soldier, carried took a stone etched with his name and rank, gave the simple sacrifice of climbing to the top of a mountain with that memorial stone, and on that mountain gave a public remembrance of that fallen warrior? Perhaps that short hike would give civilians just a little taste of what our soldiers do for us on a daily basis. There is something about being in nature surrounded by its majesty that makes one realize there are things in life much bigger than one’s self.

The Summit Project is apolitical. What that means is that it is non-partisan, non-political. Some might find this hard to believe, but the fact that it is politically neutral is one of the major reasons I find The Summit Project so appealing. I hope it stays neutral. It’s the way it should be.


As I told Dave Cote, its nice to have a place where we can lay down the hammer and tongs and step away from the heat for a while. Don’t get me wrong! I have no intentioheadedbackdownn of abandoning my opinions and my campaigns, but there is something grand about Americans from all political stripes coming together and honoring those who give them the freedom to pick up those ideological hammer and tongs and go at it.

Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage and First Lady Michelle Obama have endorsed the Summit Project. If that isn’t bi-partisan I don’t know what is. TMCV recommends that our readers check out The Summit Project at their website. Do a hike to honor Maine’s fallen warriors or, if hiking is out of the question, check out ways that you can volunteer. Go to The Maine Summit Project’s website or like them on Facebook.peakofborestone