Soldiers never give up. Charlie Linville is living proof. The ex-Marine who lost is leg has become the first wounded war veteran to scale Mount Everest, a 29,000-feet trek that took him to the top of the world’s tallest mountain.
Linville intended to climb Everest using his prosthetic leg. To many, it would seem like an impossibility. Plenty of people who have trained for years still can’t make the climb. But Linville said, “Nothing is going to stand in my way.” He was right.
From the Frontlines to the Top of Mount Everest
Linville is a former Marine who served in Afghanistan. The 30-year-old from Boise, Idaho, lost his leg while deployed on the bomb disposal unit. Linville had a lot to live for; the father of two wasn’t about to let an amputated leg slow him down from living life to the fullest. His first two attempts to climb Everest were cut short; in 2013, an avalanche killed 16 people, and in 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake made the hike impossible.
According to Linville, reaching the top of the mountain has never been a personal dream. It’s all for the Heroes Project, a non-profit organization committed to restoring hope to veterans who were severely wounded during combat.
Climbing Mount Everest is more than just a personal achievement for Linville; it’s proof to veterans everywhere that life doesn’t stop after losing a part of your body. The Heroes Project organizes major expeditions for wounded veterans that provide therapeutic challenges to help them realize their own inner strength.
Veterans like Charlie Linville have reached the highest peaks in the world and overcome physical excursions. Over 1,600 war veterans have lost a major limb since 2001, and thousands more have suffered major traumatic brain injuries.
The Heroes Project is oriented around helping soldiers shift their focus to the abilities they have, not the ones they’ve lost.
Overcoming the Past
According to Linville, Mount Everest was a chance to “overcome the demons from war” and change. Linville attempted his own hike with another veteran on a separate team. The soldiers are just two of many who will rely on the Heroes Project to rediscover themselves post-war injuries.
War changes everyone who experiences it, but Linville and his comrades are living proof that life does go on.