Operation Peer Support to Host Blinded Women Veterans
on Appalachian Trail
I survived the Fierce Ranger Appalachian Trail March. Operation Peer Support will host “2019 I survived the Fierce Ranger Appalachian Trail March” in the Northern Appalachian Trails in Georgia starting May 28, 2019. This event will consist of the first time 4-blinded female veteran team (Jeanie Murphy, Shianti Lee, Marlene Davis Lilly, and Monaca Gilmore) in which all are members of the Blinded Veterans Association. This blinded veteran team will participate and conquer several days of adventurous tasks such a hiking, repelling, camping, range shooting, and water operations. This event will allow a diverse and dedicated group of veterans to persevere through the challenges presented by training and the natural environment.
The four blinded female veterans will hike over 30 miles of the North Georgia Appalachian Trail, starting on May 28, 2019 to foster fellowship, esprit de corps, team work, and provide a wilderness challenge. The men and women combined will have completed the entire state of Georgia.
The team will carry required equipment and rations to sustain themselves between mission support sites (MSS) where additional supplies will be located. MSS sites will be pre-established by a support team that will provide a spartan, but adequate camp for the teams each evening.
Meet our team of hikers below:
Jeanie Murphy, Manhattan, Kansas
Retired Sergeant of the U.S. Army, who served as an Administrative Assistant, enjoys assisting veterans in the local community, participating in the Blinded Veterans Association, swimming and football.
Shianti Lee, Los Angeles, California
Retired Sergeant of the U.S. Army, who served as a Counter Intel Agent, enjoys yoga, archery, bouldering, climbing, and listening to classical poets.
Marlene Davis-Lilly, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Former Specialist of the U.S. Navy, who served as an Aviation Fueler, enjoys swimming, fishing, collecting antiques, and genealogy.
Monaca Gilmore, Knightdale, North Carolina
Retired Sergeant of the U.S. Army, who served as a Transportation Instructor, enjoys whitewater kayaking, skiing, fishing, tandem cycling, singing, and assisting veteran communities.
Scope of the Event
This diverse group of veteran participants is dedicated to persevering through the tasks of this event. The start date of the march is May 28, 2019 and end date is June 1, 2019. The start point vicinity will be Amicalola Falls Georgia and the finish point will be Camp Frank D. Merrill Georgia, home of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion. This will be an all-female event in which our Veterans will be guided by fellow women who share in the common belief that the empowering spirit of hard work and dedication can overcome all obstacles. The blinded female veterans will team with their sighted female guides for every aspect of this adventure. The sighted guides consist of the following:
Major Lisa Jaster, West Point Class of 2000; Graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger school and is currently the Director of Civil Engineering for M&S Engineering.
Amy Quoqueze-Copeland, Accountant Assistant for a realtor group.
Kelly Wallace, Billing supervisor of Champ VA / TriCare Specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Brittney Davis, Medical Tech / volunteer for the Blinded Veterans Association.
Janet Reyes, School teacher.
Jennifer Grove, WSBTV Channel 2 Atlanta News Reporter
Kristin Love, Programs Registrar and Facility Operations Manager at Elachee Nature Science Center. Kristin Love graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation and a bachelor’s degree in Irish Literature. Directly after graduation, she moved to Wyoming to lead guiding trips in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. After moving back to Georgia, Kristin began working for Elachee Nature Science Center and is now enjoying her role as the Registrar and Facility Operations Manager. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, hiking with her three dogs or traveling with her husband.
The team will carry required equipment and rations to sustain themselves between mission support sites (MSS) where additional supplies will be located. MSS will be pre-established by a support team that will provide a Spartan but adequate camp for the teams each evening. As the first female blinded veteran team, we will prove that vision loss is no more than an obstacle that can be overcome with hard work and a never dying spirit.
5th Ranger Training Battalion: https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/artb/5th-RTBn/index.html
Information on Amicalola Falls: https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/tumbling-waters-hiking-amicalola-falls/
Camp Frank D Merrill Base: https://militarybases.com/georgia/frank-merrill/
Dahlonega (where the base is): http://dahlonega.org/history-heritage/military-heritage/738-u-s-army-ranger-camp-frank-d-merrill-museum
Sponsored by: The Delta Gamma Foundation
The Delta Gamma Foundation: About the Delta Gamma Foundation: Incorporated in 1951, the Delta Gamma Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed as a complement to the Delta Gamma Fraternity, creating a vehicle for members to promote the educational interests and social responsibility referenced in Article II of the Fraternity Constitution. The Delta Gamma Foundation fosters lifetime enrichment for members, promotes Service for Sight and partners with the Fraternity to ensure the future of our sisterhood.
The Delta Gamma Foundation: https://www.deltagamma.org/foundation
Delta Gamma’s Website: https://www.deltagamma.org/