The first combat amputee ever to conquer Everest reached the mountain’s peak Thursday, his third attempt to do so since losing his leg in 2013.
Thomas Linville, a 30-year-old former US Marine from Idaho, was seriously injured in an IED blast in Helmand in 2011, and lost his leg in 2013 after doctors battled to save it.
Linville undertook the expedition in partnership with The Heroes Project, an organization dedicated to working with veterans, soldiers, marines, and military communities.
“I was looking for something to completely change myself… and really get rid of the demons that were created from war,” Linville said in April, as he headed to Tibet for this latest effort to clime the Earth’s highest peak.
Linville, an explosive-ordnance disposal technician who was caught in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2011 in Helmand province, made the climb as part of Operation Everest: 2016, a team brought together by The Heroes Project.
His first attempt, in 2014, was thwarted by an avalanche. An earthquake that ripped through the region and cancelled the following year’s climbing season put paid to his second effort.
“The team is healthy and safe and currently descending the mountain,” reads a Facebook post on the non-profit’s page, announcing the successful culmination of the group’s efforts on this third occasion.
The select group of which Linville is now a member comprises a multitude of inspiring stories, with people from around the globe overcoming conditions and catastrophes, mastering limitations and undertaking adventures that only the most courageous could ever contemplate.