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Ex-Marine Charlie Linville Becomes First Amputee Veteran to Scale Everest

A Marine who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan has become the first combat amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest, his climbing team said Friday.

Former Staff Sgt. Charlie Linville, from Boise, Idaho, reached the 29,029-foot summit of the world’s tallest peak Thursday, the veterans’ group Heroes Project announced.

The 30-year-old lost his foot to a below-the-knee amputation in 2013 after an IED blast in Afghanistan. He was a member of a bomb disposal unit.

Image: Charlie Linville, pictured here on an earlier climb, became the first combat amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest
Charlie Linville, pictured here on an earlier climb, became the first combat amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Heroes Project

It was the father-of-two’s third attempt at reaching the summit; the first, in 2014, was canceled after an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas. His second, in 2015, was abandoned when Nepal was devastated by a huge earthquake.

Speaking before his team reached the summit, Linville said: “The Everest climb has never been about myself, it has always been about the Heroes Project ... Hopefully we can inspire others to get up and accomplish their goals and have a meaningful life. That's what the whole goal is."

Another combat veteran, Chad Jukes, 32, from Ridgeway, Colorado, was expected to attempt the summit this weekend.

More than 1,645 members of the U.S. military have lost a major limb since 2001, and thousands more have suffered a traumatic brain injury.