Climb for a Purpose

Support Climb for a Purpose

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Embark Explorations is excited to work with a new partner Clear Path for Veterans, supporting its mission to helping active military, Veterans and their families.

Clear Path is an all-inclusive, 501(c)(3) non-profit community-based resource center that partners with local businesses and organizations to connect service members and their families to the resources they need. Thanks to the dedication of our co-founders, board of directors, Veteran Advisory Council, staff and volunteers, Clear Path houses seven non-clinical programs which together promote education, wellness and empowerment for Veterans, active duty, Guard/Reserve and their families. Through extensive community collaboration, the Clear Path mission has built on the foundation of our co-founders and has created an environment that fosters hope, empowerment and promotes healthy warriors. We service 24 counties and have satellite offices in Binghamton and Fort Devens, Mass. We recognize our responsibility to support those who have served, and are proud to do so side-by-side with devoted and talented community members.

Clear Path is bringing 11 Veterans to Tanzania in eastern Africa with the purpose of raising awareness that there are many Veterans and communities striving to live a purpose driven life. The path may not always be clear or easy when transitioning out, but with the same tenacity and resiliency they had while serving, one can find the equivalent feeling of purpose.

Clear Path hopes to spread awareness to other communities across the nation and is always open to collaboration and sharing lessons learned.

The Veterans will strengthen trusts and bonds, not only among themselves but also with the people of Tanzania. Understanding different cultures and adapting to new environments easily, they hope to establish new friendships and improve the lives of others as well as their own.

These Veterans will be climbing Africa’s highest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro at 19,341 ft. – and they will also be supporting and collaborating with two organizations during their time there: Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) and the Red Sweater Project.

Click here to support the Veterans below on their journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mike Buckley

Mike Buckley enlisted in the U.S. Army as PVT Buckley on Jan. 23, 1985; 32 years later – in 2017 – he decided to take off the uniform for the final time. Private Buckley to Staff Sergeant Buckley to Colonel Buckley had the opportunity to travel through more than 30 countries, several of them on a friendly basis. The majority of Buckley’s career was spent in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) field.

Buckley’s experience through three decades at the tactical through strategic levels provided him an opportunity to work with incredible people from all walks of life and he is fortunate to have served with many who to this day remain dear friends. He occasionally completes long distance expedition hikes In 2017, a journey of the the Arizona Trail brought him great peace, and he is looking forward to the challenge of summiting Kilimanjaro. Buckley resides with his wife and sons in Cazenovia.


Christopher Dambach

Christopher Dambach served for five years as a Reservist with the U.S. Marines (Light Armored Reconnaissance - 4th LAR Echo Company from 2007-2012), departing as a Lance Corporal. He was deployed to Iraq in 2009 and patrolled the northern border.

Dambach has four sons – Gavin (age 7), Owen (3), Lincoln (2) and Finnegan (10 months) – and married his high school sweetheart. He is owner of Industry Standard USA, LLC. He and his family live in Liverpool.


Terry Finley

Terry Finley served more than 27 years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army. He retired as a Master Sergeant after 24 years in Special Forces and has worked, lived and played on five continents participating in operations across the globe.

He currently serves as the national and military outreach manager at Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango. He uses his experience, knowledge and networking to help educate, promote and expand worthy causes for Veterans and organizations. He and his family live in Manlius.


John C. Higgins II

John C. Higgins II served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a nuclear operator. Four of his six years in the service were spent onboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) where he made two deployments: one in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-02) and a second one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003).

Higgins has a newborn son, John Higgins III, and he said he enjoys every bit of his new role of being a father. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and is a co-owner of Mettā Therapeutic Massage & Wellness of Syracuse with his beautiful better half, Tiffany. He also serves as operations manager at the Imajion Corporation in Syracuse. He and his family live in downtown Syracuse. He enjoys triathlon, reading, exploring new places and fishing.


Spencer Milo

Spencer Milo is a medically retired, post-9/11 U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, combat Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. A passionate advocate and spokesman for military Veterans and Veterans’ issues, he also serves transitioning military members and Veterans in his civilian career today as the director of Veteran Programs, Communications and Strategic Development at the Marcus Institute for Brain Health.

Milo lives in Castle Rock, Colo. with his wife Sarah, daughter Zoey, son Gunnar, and three dogs – one of which is his service dog Nemo.