View Full Version : Three US War Vet Amputees Climb Kilimanjaro

08-12-2010, 10:15
I hope that no one minds me posting this in the general section. Mods please move this if it should be in another section.

This is what inspires me and reminds me I have nothing to complain about.


(Aug. 12) Three U.S. war veterans who lost their legs in Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq, have hiked, crawled and clawed their way to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro atop five prosthetic legs and only one good leg among them.

The trio took six days to climb Africa's tallest mountain, 19,340 feet high, as part of the Warfighter Sports Challenge, a series of extreme sports events for permanently disabled veterans. They topped Kilimanjaro in Tanzania over the weekend and scrambled down -- what some call the toughest part, especially on prosthetics -- on Wednesday.

"Our message in this climb is to both our wounded military, who have made such a sacrifice to this great country of ours, and to people with disabilities throughout the nation," Kirk Bauer, a 62-year-old who lost a leg in Vietnam in 1969, told the Denver Daily News (http://www.thedenverdailynews.com/article.php?aID=9560). "If three veterans from three wars and two generations with one good leg between them can climb the tallest mountain in Africa, then all with disabilities can choose to be active and healthy through sports."

Bauer is the executive director of Disabled Sports USA (http://www.dsusa.org/), a nonprofit group that uses sports as therapy, and organized the Tanzania trip. His fellow climbers were Dan Nevins, 37, who lost both of his legs in Iraq, and Neil Duncan, 26, whose legs were blown off by a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2005.

"I'm just incredibly sore all over," Duncan told The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/10/AR2010081006095.html). "I tried this last year and just didn't make it ... I learned that if you take a bunch of amputees and you want to put them on top of a mountain, there are a lot of things you need to think about."

This year Duncan made it, but not without hurdles. At several points he had to get down on all fours -- including two prosthetic legs -- to crawl over some of the rockiest stretches of Kilimanjaro. Bauer's automated prosthetic leg, which uses a tiny onboard computer to adjust to different terrain, froze up at 15,000 feet and then fell off altogether. Nevins got altitude sickness and had to be evacuated from the highest part of the peak on a stretcher.

"The climb beat the hell out of our prosthetics," Bauer told the Post. "But what we've found is that these events, these challenges, really get these guys motivated."

Duncan told The Associated Press (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5igVgI6U-pIrSgEioKNez3lZd6D-gD9HHDBA80) he used his previous failure as motivation this time.

"I was so set on coming back," he said. "I knew it was attainable. It was proof that you can bounce back from a failure in anything. You can regroup, recuperate, re-plan and use your previous experience and be successful,"

Before embarking for Kilimanjaro, Bauer, Nevins and Duncan -- who have dubbed themselves "Team Missing Parts in Action" -- trained for the climb by hiking Maryland's Sugarloaf Mountain and doing a 26-mile trek through the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Bauer told the Washington Examiner (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/_We_re-all-taking-extra-legs_-just-in-case_-1004821-99643024.html) they felt ready to attempt Africa's highest mountain, but that they were packing extra supplies for contingencies.

"We're all taking extra legs, just in case," he said.

08-12-2010, 10:22
"We're all taking extra legs, just in case," he said. -- not something you normally read about hiking. Thanks for the post.

John B
08-12-2010, 10:26
This is what inspires me and reminds me I have nothing to complain about....


I read the article in this Sunday's paper and thought the exact same thing in re I have nothing to complain about when hiking or running. Great article.

double d
08-12-2010, 11:23
three very tough guys. They should make all of us proud of them for their service and courage to face their injuries in the mannor that they do.

Bare Bear
08-13-2010, 13:00
Being a real man is something to be proud of, being a Warrior is a higher calling.