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3 Years After Losing His Leg, This War Veteran Summits Everest

"Nothing is going to stand in my way."

A Marine Corps veteran who lost part of his leg in an explosion in Afghanistan has conquered the world's tallest mountain.

Charlie Linville, a native of Boise, Idaho, reached the summit of Mount Everest on Thursday, becoming the first combat-wounded veteran to reach the 29,029-foot peak.

In an interview last year with HuffPost Live, Linville discussed his goal of summiting Everest using a prosthesis, saying "nothing is going to stand in my way." He meant it. 

Linville's accomplishment, according to veteran nonprofit The Heroes Project, "caps a three-year journey" for the 30-year-old father of two. 

In January 2011, Linville, a staff sergeant and explosives expert, was conducting a sweep near Sangin, Afghanistan, when a device blasted him into the air. He landed in the blast crater, sustaining multiple injuries to his leg and hand, according to nonprofit's website.

After more than a year of trying to save his foot, Linville decided in 2013 to have his leg amputated below the knee. He started focusing on the Everest goal shortly thereafter.

"I was looking for something to completely change myself and really get rid of the demons that were created from war," Linville told KBOI 2 News. 

"I was looking for something to completely change myself and really get rid of the demons that were created from war," Charlie Linville

The climb was Linville's third Everest attempt in as many years. In 2014, he and his team abandoned their climb following the avalanche that killed 16 sherpas. The following year's expedition was halted after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, killing more than 8,500 people. 

This year, Linville's team became the first to summit via Everest's north face during the 2016 season. The team reached the peak around 12:30 p.m. local time Thursday. 

Marine Corps veteran Charlie Linville (left) and The Heroes Project founder and expedition leader Tim Medvetz pictured atop M
Marine Corps veteran Charlie Linville (left) and The Heroes Project founder and expedition leader Tim Medvetz pictured atop Mount Everest on Thursday. 

Linville's team, according to The Heroes Project, "is healthy and safe and currently descending the mountain."

USA Today reports that Linville had been climbing Everest at the same time as another combat amputee, 32-year-old Chad Jukes, who was attempting to ascend with a separate team.  

See the video below for more about Linville and Operation Everest.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mislabeled the location of the explosion that claimed Charlie Linville's leg. It occurred in Afghanistan, not Iraq.

HuffPost

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