Have you ever hiked to the top of a hill? Maybe even climbed a small ridge? Did you soak in the view from the top and reflect upon the satisfaction of your accomplishment? Now imagine you’ve just summited 29,029 feet and you’re atop Mt. Everest. This is exactly what the USX Veteran Everest Expedition team hope to accomplish later this year.

People have an urge to climb Everest for a multitude of reasons. From risk takers to cancer survivors, Everest represents something different for each climber. The mountain represents a lifelong dream that inspires a commitment to training unlike any other sport on Earth. For those that will never physically climb Everest, the name still acts as a metaphor for something to overcome. For Veterans, many separate from their service obligation and try to overcome the yearning for a belonging. USX aims to help provide that belonging because they believe service to your country shouldn’t stop when your time on the battlefield ends.

USX has two focuses: research initiatives and expeditions. Both enable soldiers and Veterans to continue serving their country, all while furthering science, exploration, or causes important to our country. The first USX endeavor will be an expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest, scheduled for spring 2016. The expedition will seek to raise awareness and funds for mental health initiatives in order to improve Veterans’ quality of life. If successful, this will be the first time a wounded Veteran and active duty soldiers summit Mt. Everest.

Expedia became the official travel sponsor for USX by providing enough Expedia+ points so that the USX team could arrange round trip airline tickets for their journey. The USX crew flew out earlier this month from various cities across the US and made their way to Kathmandu and eventually Everest Basecamp. The travel time lasted more than a week and afforded the crew a terrific opportunity to develop a strong team bond with hopes to inspire fellow soldiers and Veterans to do the same.

Expedia+ is a free program available exclusively to Expedia customers. To become a member, go to Expedia+ and join.

Stay tuned for more updates about the USX climbers as they move closer to their ultimate goal of summiting Mt. Everest in a few weeks. For more information on USX, check out www.usx.vet. For more information on Mt. Everest, check out this previous Viewfinder blog.

Where is the farthest you’ve traveled in connection with the military?

This post was written by Nick Curry, President of Expedia, Inc.’s Military Veterans Association. Nick is also currently serving in the US Navy Reserves.