Bruce Salisbury joined the US Army in 1946 at the age of 15 and retired from the US Air Force as a MSGT in 1966. A bio of Bruce can be read by clicking on BRUCE SALISBURY. After retirement Bruce continued to be dedicated to the Military Services and all Veterans. In 2003, Bruce and his wife, Dottie, had a vision of a monument in the United States to honor the Nation's Veterans that had been killed in action or missing in action. After serious discussions with family and friends Bruce and Dottie decided that a mountain in Colorado would be a perfect monument. The mountain would be named MT. KIA/MIA for Veterans that were "Killed in Action" or "Missing in Action".
To fulfill this dream Bruce and Dottie surveyed the Colorado Mountain Ranges for a suitable mountain. They discovered that there were several unnamed mountains and 33 with the name of Sheep Mountain. With the backing of many friends and family Bruce submitted a proposal to the "Colorado Geographic Names Board" to rename one of the Sheep Mountains to MT. KIA/MIA. The Colorado Board rejected this proposal. Bruce submitted a second proposal to the board to rename one of the unnamed mountains to MT. KIA/MIA. This proposal included a description of an unnamed mountain located in Saguache County, Colorado. The County Commission of Saguache County agreed with the proposed name change and was so stated in the proposal to the "Colorado Geographic Names Board".
After many meetings between the Colorado Geographic Names Board, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Board of Geographic Names the proposed mountain was officially named MOUNT KIA/MIA on 06 October 2007. The document designating this action can be viewed by clicking on USGS DOCUMENTATION.
Detail information on the four year cycle to get the unnamed mountain renamed to MOUNT KIA/MIA can be found by clicking on MOUNTAIN RENAMING.
Note: During the renaming cycle "The Veterans' Voice" publication and the "The Veterans' Voice" web site carried articles on the renaming progress. A portion of the material contained herein came from the "The Veterans' Voice" articles with their permission. All veterans and other interested parties should subscribe to this publication and certainly view their web site at : The Veterans Voice
Climbing Mount KIA/MIA
by Bruce Salisbury
On 6 August 2008 the first group of climbers to summit Mount KIA/MIA since it was named arrived at the mountain. They were, Royce Raven a Korean War Veteran, along with his son Barry Raven, a well known mountain climber, and Barry’s wife Raman.
From the first time we discussed Mount KIA/MIA with Royce and Barry the two of them had offered to climb the mountain for us once it was named. These two were a part of the quest for naming the mountain from the very beginning and when the unnamed mountain in Saguache County, Colorado was finally named, these two started planning their climb.
In the high country there is a short window of time which is considered good climbing weather and the snows come early and stay a good part of the year.
The Ravens drove to the top of Marshall Pass and descended to the Starvation Creek Trail Head where they began the journey on foot. They arrived at the top of the mountain shortly before noon and set up the flags of our five uniformed armed services and the American flag. This display was placed in a clearing at the summit where a jar held the climb register which was headed as follows: “Unnamed Peak 11,282 ft.”
There were registered the names of two previous climbers. On June 7, 2003 Mike Garratt of Dolores, Colorado signed in and wrote the following: “2nd time here, 1st time on skis.”
On 7-26-2006 Ken Nolan from Buena Vista, Colorado, signed in and wrote: “Pleasant open crest bushwhack.”
The Raven’s arrived on top as the first to climb the mountain since it was named. In their notation they wrote: “10-6-2007 renamed Mt KIA/MIA.”
Then they signed in:
8-6-2008 Royce Raven Bridgeport, Texas, Flag setup.
8-6-2008 Barry Raven Coppell, TX. Flag setup 11:43 am
8-6-2008 Raman Raven Coppell, TX. Flag setup 11:45 am.
Below, this was written:
“Note, this trip was for Bruce Salisbury and all the veterans dead & alive.”
Royce Raven is a Korean War Veteran who has climbed many a mountain, but this one was special for him and Barry and Raman, and for all who have been involved in naming this mountain.
After the climb the Ravens met us at Home Lake, Veteran’s Center and we presented the flags for safekeeping at the museum there, to be held until there is a Mount KIA/MIA Museum, or other place to safe keep these historic flags.
Returning home through driving rain that night, Dottie and I enjoyed the knowledge that the mountain had just been climbed and that the flags had been flown up there, but, being me, I am already looking at getting a memorial effort going for Farmington, New Mexico’s Orphan Marine Kenneth Lee Worley who died in Vietnam four decades ago and achieved the Congressional Medal Of Honor.
Went up to Colorado and Royce Raven and his son and daughter-in-law climbed the mountain and held a ceremony on top. Barry Raven found an old registry container up there with notes from the two previous climbers (from some years back) but Royce and his family were the first to climb after the mountain was named Mt. KIA/MIA.
Barry and his dad had climbed Kilimanjaro (in Africa) back in 2001 and Barry is really a fine young man. Barry's wife "Raman" also climbed with them, an 116 lb girl atop the mountain, so again we are on the cutting edge here. (As you know I have a lot of respect for girls).
They took a slew of photographs and all five Uniformed Services Flags and of course Old Glory was part of their ceremony up there. Dottie and I did not climb but were at the bottom of the mountain while those three topped the mountain. It is nice to know it is completed now and these two guys who offered to climb the first "Sheep Mountain" that we tried to name, will now be famous in mountaineering circles as the "first" to climb Mt. KIA/MIA.
Directions for Climbing Mt. KIA/MIA can be found by clicking on "DIRECTIONS"
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