After conquering Mt Everest, US combat amputee says he wanted to inspire others

KATHMANDU: The US Marine Corps veteran, who became the first combat amputee to reach the summit of Mt Everest this season, said he wanted to inspire others to never give up as nothing was impossible if one has perseverance.

“It’s about inspiring others to never give up and honouring my brothers in arms who didn’t make it back from the war,” Thomas Charles ‘Charlie’ Linville said while sharing his experience with THT after returning from the world's highest peak.

The 30-year-old stood atop the summit with prosthesis on May 19. "It’s bigger than me and my own journey after losing a leg," he said.  According to him, he had to conquer his own demons that he had from the war and losing his leg. “Conquering Everest allowed me to do that,” he added.

Born in Idaho, the US veteran was seriously wounded in an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan while his team was responding to an IED detonation in 2011. The father of two lost his right foot to a below-knee amputation in 2013 after going with multiple experimental surgeries for nearly two years.

“My next plan is to serve my wife and kids and be a proud husband and father and teach my kids the same thing I learned from climbing Mount Everest. That's that nothing is impossible if you put in the work,” the mountaineer said.

After locally managing a successful expedition, Dawa Sherpa of Climbalaya Treks & Expeditions said the climb was Linville's third attempt. The climb was halted in April 2014 after an avalanche struck the icefall section killing at least 16 Sherpas while his second attempt was abandoned following the devastating earthquake in April 2015.

“No matter what country they serve is to never regret serving and honouring your country and I am proud to have served my country and would do it again,” Linkville said, in his message to other veterans.

The founder of The Heroes Project, Tim Medvetz, said Linville agreed to come on board with the nonprofit veteran project to climb Mt Everest in spring of 2014. With reaching atop the roof of the world from the northern side, Linville completed the last of The Seven Summits, he added.

Tim also climbed Mt Everest with Linville this season acknowledging the Nepal-based company that helped them achieve this feat.

“I felt very strongly about using a Nepali company as opposed to a western company and I feel more westerners should consider hiring local companies in spite of all the tragedies Nepal has experienced in the past two years,” Tim, who also hosts NatGeo's ‘Going Wild’ adventure series, said. “Let’s help rebuild Nepal!”