Five wounded warriors, including two double-leg amputees, tackle 20,320-foot climb to raise awareness, inspire others with disabilities and support Disabled Sports USA. June 11, 2012
Disabled Sports USA announced today that Team Warfighter Sports starts its climb of Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, the highest mountain in North America and one of the coldest in the world. The climb is expected to conclude just before Independence Day.
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. 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 up Mt. Kilimanjaro, which included Duncan.
The Denali climb benefits Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, an organization that has served severely wounded warriors since 1967. Warfighter Sports offers free sports rehabilitation for severely wounded warriors in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. Over 5,600 wounded warriors and families have been served since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities.
Key sponsors of the climb include: Chartis, Tee it up for the Troops, Team Semper Fi, American Airlines, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, and Leonidas International, a foundation started by climber Acosta.
Follow Team Warfighter Sports’ progress, view photos and support the team at http://www.crowdrise.com/wsdenalichallenge.
About Warfighter Sports
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for severely wounded warriors in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. through a nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 30 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities.
Contributions cover all expenses for participation, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals for the warrior and a family member. Since 2003, more than 5,600 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage. For more information, visit http://www.warfightersports.org.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebWarfighterSportsDenali/06112012/prweb9593184.htm