True Patriot Love Expedition is the name given to a unique three week trek in the Himalayas from Everest Base Camp up to Island Peak. What is particularly remarkable about this expedition is that the team is comprised of Canadian Forces military members who are recovering from wounds sustained in the course of their service. “Sometimes the mountains provide that opportunity for people to look in and challenge themselves, and by challenging themselves, help themselves,” commented Ben Webster, documentary filmmaker, expedition leader.
The True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL) was formed by a group of dedicated business leaders to support and honour members of the Canadian military and their families. Since its inception 3 years ago, TPL has raised almost $11 million for military family health.
The initiative aims to raise funds and awareness for ill and injured soldiers. “For many members of the Canadian Forces, the profound effects of physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder are just beginning to surface,” states Bronwen Evans, a True Patriot Love founding director. “The True Patriot Love Expedition brings much-needed awareness to the challenges facing military families and helps our Foundation achieve our objective of funding support in three crucial areas: the physical rehabilitation of soldiers, mental health and family support.”
Arc’teryx LEAF believes in giving back to those who have given so much, which in this case also includes their livelihoods and their ability to provide for their families. As a Canadian company with roots in the outdoor environment, using the mountains to achieve peace of mind is something LEAF understands. The March to the Top group will be outfitted with Alpha LT Jackets and Beta AR Pants to protect the expedition members from the elements, making them as comfortable as possible while they face a much larger challenge.
TPL Director, Bronwen Evans said, “We are proud to partner with Arc’teryx LEAF, whose Canadian founding and strong commitment to the armed forces make them a natural fit. Their generous support will make a tremendous difference to our initiative in the Himalayas this fall.”
In addition to expedition leader Ben Webster, ten Canadian business leaders who have made sizeable donations will also accompany the group. As part of being included, these civilians financially sponsor one soldier each. The hope is that this trip will challenge and support the soldiers and provide them a unique opportunity to help their recovery.
The team has been training in the Rockies, in between making public appearances at events leading up to their October departure.
March to the Top will be filmed for a multi-part documentary special and will air Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on documentary, and Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV.
Awareness of the struggles for returned soldiers and their families leads to a broader understanding between the public and military forces. As leader Ben Webster puts it, “They’re climbing to 21,000 feet to gain closure on the six inches between their ears.”
To support March to the Top, TPL, and to learn more, visit