Warriors' Ascent was created in 2014 by two Iraq combat veterans who returned home and realized they needed additional resources to cope with the moral injuries they suffered on the battlefield. Unable to find a solution that provided long-term results, they set about to create their own. Seeking cutting edge holistic medical practices based on scientific research, they developed the Warriors' Ascent Program and began inviting other Warriors to join them on the journey to recovery.
"I was getting ready to call my dad to tell him i was ending my life. But then i found Warriors' Ascent. Thank yoU. I have my life back. i have hope.
Josh - Warriors' Ascent graduate
Our Continued Mission
Now in its fifth year of operations, Warriors' Ascent has served over 300 Veterans and First Responders who have graduated from the program. Our alumni are comprised of Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as well as active-duty members from all branches of the armed services. They are joined by their brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services representing over 15 departments from throughout the nation.
Together, we have formed a community to support one another as we all navigate the healing process. Unlike other programs, we encourage our alumni to return and support future classes. With opportunities to volunteer, become peer mentors, sit in on classes and join us for monthly alumni dinners and gatherings. Warriors' Ascent is not a fire-and-forget organization. It is a tribe committed to supporting one another so each reaches their long-term healing goals.
With less than 1% serving today, modern society is ill-prepared to assist Veterans and First Responders cope with the traumas they have experienced on their behalf. Warriors’ Ascent has created a holistic evidence-based healing program rooted in centuries of tradition used by ancient warrior cultures. Our FREE five-day program provides an environment dedicated to healing, using proven techniques and practices to create habits for long-term healing. Additionally, Warriors' Ascent has collaborated with the University of Kansas Cofrin-Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment in order to provide the most clinically rigorous program available backed by research, data, and evidence-based practices.
Meet The Team
(LTC - RETIRED) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mike is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point (YG 1993) and retired from the US Army in 2015 as a special forces lieutenant colonel with over 22 years of service to the nation. He’s served in with 3-187th IN (Iron Rakkasans) in the 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) and with 1st Special Forces Group out of Fort Lewis, WA. He’s served in a variety of positions from platoon leader, SFODA commander, SFODB Commander, Task Force Commander, and as the Special Operations Liaison to numerous US Embassies throughout the Pacific Command. As a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), he’s served as a lead planner for Special Operations Command, Pacific and as an instructor at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
MINDFULNESS & YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Kerry spent eight years in the Air Force and is a Gulf War Veteran. Kerry has a BS in Business Management and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance. Kerry came to yoga on the recommendation of his daughter as a measure to reduce chronic pain and to channel his mind to focus on relaxation techniques. He has seen the benefits of yoga both on and off the mat, including a reduction in stress and anxiety and a gain in physical and mental strength. Kerry knows from first-hand experience the multitude of benefits yoga can produce and would love to share those with you.
Christy is a third generation graduate of the University of Florida. She has traveled the country working in a variety of nonprofit management roles as her husband, LTC Jim Cook, has progressed through his military career as an Army Logistics Officer. Prior to coming to Kansas City, Christy worked as the Service to the Armed Forces Manager for the American Red Cross of Alaska. She managed a team of employees and volunteers to support the active duty service members, veterans and their families across the 49th State. The Cook family is excited to be in Kansas City and they are looking forward to this being "home" for the foreseeable future as Jim transitions from active duty to retirement.
Brian and Erin Rousseau
ROSTERING & SOCIAL MEDIA
Brian and Erin are the husband and wife team who help roster participants for our Warriors' Ascent cohorts. They are both alumni of the Warriors' Ascent Program and can speak with authenticity regarding how it helped them. Once you apply for our program they are the point of contact that will answer questions, assuage inhibitions, and get you ready to attend this life-changing experience. They are both First Responders (police officer, dispatcher). Erin is also the voice behind our social media.
Phil is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Strong in helping companies discover their core brand essence and then creating ideas and solutions to help them consistently bring their brand to life.
President and Chief Operating Officer, Cowell James Forge
Deena is passionate about providing world-class service and peace of mind to her clients and instilling a sense of shared mission and quality to everyone on the CJF team. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Insurance Counselor.
Tim is the Director of Finance for the American Royal Association, in Kansas City, MO. Prior to joining the American Royal in 2016, he held a similar role with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre from 2014-2016. Before that, Tim served as Chief Financial Officer for the Jefferson City Area YMCA from 1996-2013. Tim Carroll earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Missouri State University and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from William Woods University.
Senior Vice President, Market Executive, BOK. Current Member of the Kansas City CFA Society; Former Treasurer and Current Board Member of the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired; Member of UMKC Alumni Governing Board; Member of the Kansas City Ballet Business Council; Past Board Member of the Kansas City American Heart Association; Past President of the Kansas City Society of Financial Analysts.
Mr. Forney is a shareholder with Shaffer, Lombardo, Shurin. His law practice is focused upon representation of health care professionals and healthcare related business transactions and lawsuits.
Customer Business Manager, Honeywell
Steve leads a line of business responsible for providing the DoD sustainment and trusted microelectronics services to create innovative and cost effective solutions to long term infrastructure, weapon, and platform modernization programs.
(COLONEL, RETIRED) ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
Tony enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1984, completing a 26-year military career in the Kansas City area as the Commander of the Kansas City District, US Army Corps of Engineers in 2013. He is a graduate of West Point, decorated combat veteran, Ranger, engineer, and leader. Tony currently serves as the Director of Public Works for the City of Overland Park, Kansas. He holds Master's Degrees from Colorado State University (Construction Management) and the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (National Resource Strategy). Tony combines two passions - endurance running and promoting the mission of Warrior's Ascent - to make a meaningful difference while assisting others.