A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan has made history by becoming the first combat amputee to conquer the summit of Mount Everest.
30-year old Charlie Linville, from Idaho, reached the 29,029-foot summit of Earth's highest mountain on May 19 after two earlier attempts to do so since he lost his foot to a below-the-knee amputation in 2013.
Linville was injured when he stepped on an unexploded bomb in Afghanistan in 2011 while working there as an explosive-ordnance disposal technician disarming improvised explosive devices. He decided to have his leg amputated after going through 14 surgeries 18 months after the incident.
Linville, undertook the expedition as part of Operation Everest 2016 and in collaboration with The Heroes Project, an organization working with soldiers, veterans, marines and members of military communities.
"12:30 pm May 19, 2016 Nepali time. The Heroes Project was the first team to reach the summit from the Tibet northface of Everest putting the first combat wounded veteran on top of the world," The Heroes Project posted on Facebook.
Linville made his first attempt to conquer Mount Everest in 2014, but it was thwarted by an avalanche that killed 16 Nepalese guides. An earthquake that devastated Nepal in 2015, on the other hand, cancelled the following year's climbing season. Linville's team had just arrived at the base camp when the 7.8 earthquake hit.
Instead of pursuing the climb, Linville, along with Tim Medvetz who formed the Heroes Project after suffering potentially fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash, decided to pitch in on relief efforts.
More than 1,645 members of the military lost a major limb since 2001 and more have suffered from traumatic brain injury, the so called "signature injury" affecting former soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
"I was looking for something to completely change myself... and really get rid of the demons that were created from war," Linville earlier said before he headed to his latest climb.
Linville already conquered the summit of some of the world's highest peaks, but reaching the summit of Mount Everest is definitely one of his greatest achievements, which also give inspiration to thousands of disabled and injured people worldwide.
"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," Linville said.