Wounded Warrior Team to Climb Denali, the Highest Mountain in North America
Rockville, MD, May 22, 2012 (Globe Newswire)—Disabled Sports USA
(DSUSA), one of the nation's largest sport organizations for people
with disabilities, announced its Team Warfighter Sports' climb of
Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America
and one of the coldest in the world. Guided by Mountain Trip, the climb
is set to begin on June 10, shortly after Memorial Day, to honor the
sacrifices of America's heroes, and end around Independence Day, a day
that celebrates the freedoms won by military service members.
The team includes five climbers, with only four "good legs" between
them, from three wars and two generations: retired Army Sgt. Neil
Duncan, 29, a double-leg amputee injured in Afghanistan; Marine Capt.
David Borden, 31, who, after losing his leg above the knee to a suicide
bomb in Iraq in 2008, returned to combat in Afghanistan in 2011;
retired Army Cpl. Steve Martin, 42, a double-leg amputee injured in
Afghanistan; retired Army Capt. Jesse Acosta, 34, who suffered
permanent damage to hip, leg and back in Iraq; and retired Army Sgt.
Kirk Bauer, JD, 64, an above-knee amputee injured in Vietnam and the
Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA for the past 29 years.
"After losing my leg in 2008, I never imagined I would be able return
to active duty in the military. Sports have played a very important
role in my recovery and I appreciate what Disabled Sports USA has done
to help me rebuild my life. The opportunity to climb the highest
mountain in North America is a tremendous challenge that will allow me
to prove to myself and anyone else with a disability that DSUSA's motto
is true: 'If I can do this, I can do anything!'" Borden said.
The challenging climb symbolizes the difficulties wounded warriors,
their families, and others with disabilities face going through
hospitalization and rehabilitation. "After serving thousands of
severely injured service members from Iraq and Afghanistan through
rehabilitation sports programs for the past nine years, our disabled
veterans are now yearning for more opportunities to test their skills
to the extreme, as they did in the military," Bauer said. "They can now
literally climb some of the tallest mountains in the world to challenge
themselves and inspire others to become active and reach their goals
and dreams." In 2010, Bauer led a successful all-amputee wounded
warrior team, which included Duncan, up Mt. Kilimanjaro.