When 30-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Charlie Linville reached the 8,848-metre summit of Mount Everest he did so without his right foot.
The Afghanistan veteran lost a significant portion of his right leg after stepping on an explosive device in Afghanistan.
He made history Thursday by becoming the first veteran wounded in combat to summit the world’s highest mountain, according to the Heroes Project, an organization that helps wounded veterans.
“The team is healthy and safe and currently descending the mountain. They will furnish photos from the summit once the team arrives at Advanced Base Camp,” the group said in a statement.
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Linville was part of a bomb-disposal unit in Afghanistan in 2011 when he stepped on a buried explosive. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, an amputated finger and a severely damaged right foot that was amputated below the knee after 18 months later.
“I was looking for something to completely change myself…and really get rid of the demons that were created from war,” the Idaho resident told CBS news before the climb.
The Heroes Project was founded by Tim Medvetz, a former Hells Angel biker, who summited Everest in 2007, after suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle crash.
“You have to find the right mountain for the right injured veteran, and Everest is the big one,” Medvetz told CBS News.
12:30 pm 5/19/16 Nepali time. Charlie Linville is the first combat wounded veteran to reach the top of #Everest. pic.twitter老域名购买/KahdDbKAoY
— The Heroes Project (@HeroesProjectUS) May 20, 2016
This was not the former Marine’s first attempt at climbing Everest.
In 2014, he was climbing the Lobuche Peak (at 6,145 metres) on the mountain’s south side when an avalanche killed 16 Nepalese guides. The climbing season was canceled.
Last year, as he tried a second time disaster struck again when an earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people and triggered an avalanche at the base camp in Nepal that killed more than 20.
“Can’t get any taller than Everest, you know?” Linville said. “There is nothing else.”