A Marine Corps veteran hailed as “an inspiration to every amputee and to all of us as a nation” has become the first combat amputee to scale Mount Everest.
Charles Linville of Boise, Idaho, along with Tim Medvetz of The Heroes Project, reached the peak Thursday.
Linville’s right leg was amputated below the knee after he stepped on an unexploded bomb in Afghanistan in 2011.
“I am so proud that he finally got to make an actual attempt at the mountain,” said his wife, Mandi. “Not only did he make an attempt, but he made it.”
“(Charlie’s) doing things most people wouldn’t imagine doing, let alone an amputee,” said Mandi, who said her husband trained for three years for the climb. His first two attempts failed after first an avalanche struck and, on his second attempt, a massive earthquake rocked Nepal.
The Heroes Project was founded by Medvetz after he was injured in a motorcycle crash in 2001. The project leads mountaineering expeditions with wounded veterans and active service members.
Rev. Franklin Graham lauded Linville’s accomplishment on his Facebook page.
“Not only was he a hero on the battlefield, but he is an inspiration to every amputee and to all of us as a nation! God bless Charlie and Mandi — Keep on climbing!” Graham wrote, adding that the couple “came to Alaska last summer to our Samaritan’s Purse Operation Heal Our Patriots program. While there, he and his wife Mandi accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and were baptized in the waters of Lake Clark.”
h/t: The Idaho Statesman