Brunswick veteran about to climb a mountain to aid others

Brunswick veteran about to climb a mountain to aid others

BRUNSWICK, Ohio — You may have seen it on TV or on the internet — Women and children walk for miles in desolate environments just to collect enough water to sustain their families. You may have reacted. Or not.

Major Christopher Farrenholz responded.

The Brunswick native and 1999 graduate of Brunswick High School is raising awareness and donating money to alleviate their plight by climbing Kilimanjaro.

Yes, he climbs the 19,341-foot mountain as part of Conquering Kili’s 2023 class,

Each year, current and former athletes, military combat veterans and clean water advocates unite at Waterboys, a Chris Long Foundation initiative for collective impact and better communities by climbing Africa’s highest mountain and raising funds to build sustainable water wells. He embarks on this mission on February 19, with ascension beginning a few days later.

Farrenholz, who has served as a commissioned officer in the US Army since 2003, still serves in the US Army Reserve’s 2nd Psychological Operations Group. He works for the Veterans Affairs Division in the Cleveland Regional Office, providing compensation claim assistance to our nation’s veterans as the leader of a team of Veteran’s Service Representatives.

Farrenholz, aspired to be a military officer from the age of 4. In 2003, after graduating from Capital University’s ROTC program, that goal became a reality when he enlisted as a field artillery officer in the US Army. Shortly thereafter, he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Over the course of two combat tours, he served in Baghdad, Karbala, Tal A’far and Ramadi as Information Operations Officer and Combat Logistics Patrol Commander. His career has taken him around the world where he has held 12 posts in the States in various capacities in locations such as Russia, Korea, Germany, Dominican Republic, Scotland, Kuwait, Qatar and Antarctica.

He holds a Masters of Science in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he wrote his dissertation on counterinsurgency operations in Iraq.

An avid traveler, Farrenholz has lived in 10 countries on five continents, visiting all 50 states and more than 70 countries. After active service he returned to Braunschweig to be close to his grandparents. He laughingly reports that his grandmother doesn’t believe he’s telling the truth about ascension.

A passionate sports and outdoor enthusiast, Farrenholz enjoys being a season ticket holder for the Cleveland Browns and Cavaliers, staying active outside of hiking, snowboarding and kayaking while enjoying all that life has to offer. He also spends his time volunteering at Cleveland Metroparks teaching beginners sailing, rock climbing, mountain biking and other outdoor classes and activities.

Farrenholz also climbs in honor of SPC Vincent J. Pomante III, 2LT Leonard Cowherd, SPC Philip I. Spakosky and the many others who lost in the conflict.

Waterboys began with Green Beret and former Seattle Seahawk Nate Boyer joining Chris Long (who played for the Rams, Patriots and Eagles) to challenge combat veterans and NFL alumni to join them on a new mission to bring water to those provide those who don’t have it.

Their first location, Well 20 at Sanya Station, is located in the Kilimanjaro region and was completed in October 2017. This well serves 7,500 Maasai villagers and produces 10,000 liters of water per hour.

The fountain was funded by the Conquering Kili Class of 2017. It has saved villagers a 5-mile trip to their previous water source, which translates to 1,643,104 saved annual hours.

If you would like to help, you can check out his donor website at where you can read about the project and view photos and videos of past ascents.

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