2020 Conquering Kili Class
U.S. Army Veteran
Matt Cook was raised in the tiny, three-stop light town of Castroville, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio, Television and Film in 2001, he enlisted in the US Army – his first day of basic training was 9/11. As an infantryman, Matt served two tours of duty in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry (Rakkasans), 101st Airborne Division and was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant in December 2006. Immediately after, Matt used his deployment savings to produce and direct an award-winning documentary titled SWIM, following two friends and fellow soldiers as they raise money and awareness for disabled veterans and their families by becoming the 10th and 11th Americans to swim the Strait of Gibraltar. The combined effort raised over $100,000.
Since, Matt has written several articles for Texas Monthly about his experiences in the military, and also served as a war correspondent in Afghanistan in 2012. He is now a screenwriter/director/producer whose work includes The Duel, Triple Nine, Patriots Day, and the upcoming films The Informer and Angel Has Fallen. Recently inducted into the Philosophical Society of Texas, he lives in Austin with his incredible wife, Lauren, and their 3 beautiful children.
Each new Conquering Kili class accepts the challenge to embark for the summit, a walk that represents the miles that many African women journey on a daily basis to fetch water for their families. While training for the climb, each team member works to raise funds and transform communities through the gift of clean water.