Many veterans are always looking for ways to bring attention to the causes that are important to them, and two intend to take that example to the extreme. A pair of amputee veterans have their sights set on scaling Mount Everest.
Chad Jukes and Charlie Linville, both of whom lost their legs to roadside bombs in Iraq during their military careers, plan to climb the mountain in just two months, likely making them the first combat amputees to accomplish the daring feat, according to a report from USA Today. The men have become proficient climbers since their unfortunate injuries.
"There is a pressure to show the world that I can climb Mount Everest," Jukes, 31, told the newspaper. "To say, 'I have one leg, but I can climb Mount Everest. I have PTSD, but can climb Mount Everest. I have a traumatic brain injury, but I can climb Mount Everest.'"
Interestingly, they aren't working together to accomplish this goal, instead participating in two separate teams, the report said. In fact, they don't even know each other. However, they are likely to encounter each other at least for a little while on their respective climbs. Linville has twice attempted to make the climb before, but ran into difficulties related to natural disasters both times. The two previous attempts were made with the Heroes Project, a veterans group.
These efforts, as Jukes says, show that even disabled veterans can do anything they put their mind toward accomplishing, and are an inspiration to fellow former servicemembers. While life may not always be easy, finding ways to overcome handicaps can be a boon for just about any veteran facing many kinds of issues in their lives.