BOISE — The first combat amputee to climb Mount Everest is back in the Treasure Valley.
Friends and family gathered at the Boise Airport Tuesday night to welcome U.S. Marine Corps veteran Charlie Linville home after four months away.
The 30-year-old Boise native climbed the world’s tallest peak earlier this month, reaching the summit on May 19. It was his third attempt to reach the summit with the Heroes Project.
Linville stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2011 and after a year of trying to save his right leg, doctors decided to amputate it below the knee. The retired staff sergeant was a member of a bomb disposal unit.
He says he’s proud of his accomplishment and hopes it inspires others to overcome adversity.
“I hope that people see that when you set a goal, you set a big goal and not just something you can attain next week,” Linville said. “Understand that you’re going to have road blocks and it’s whether you’re going to rise to the occasion and accomplish what you set forth.”
Linville said he drew on his military experience to focus on the last stretch up to the peak, as his group contended with freezing cold and 60-mph winds. By the end, he was just concentrating on placing one foot in front of the other.
But it was all worth it when the veteran reached the summit, “literally on top of the world,” he said.
“People told me I couldn’t do it, and they kept telling me I couldn’t do it since I had my leg amputated,” he said. “To be able to accomplish it and show people that just about anything’s possible – it’s true, it is. It’s just how much will and determination are you going to set forth to get what you want.”
Linville first planned on climbing Everest in 2014, but was forced to cancel because of an avalanche. He tried a second time in 2015, but again had to change his plans when Nepal was devastated by an earthquake.
Linville said he has no plans to climb Everest again – once was enough. He said he hopes to relax and spend time with his family before setting his next big goal.
The Boisean expressed gratitude to his family and everyone who had supported him leading up to and during the climb.
“It’s been a long journey, and there’s been thousands of people that support me and my three biggest supporters at home have definitely been in my corner every step of the way,” he said.”It really means a lot there’s definitely no way i could accomplish this goal without everybody’s support and help, so thank you,”
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