2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 44
Convention Keynote Speaker, Charlie
Linville, was born in Boise, Idaho on August
22, 1985. As the first combat wounded amputee to summit Mt. Everest, he gave a profound and moving presentation about his life's
journey, the climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, and the evolution from being not sure
what to do with the rest of his life, to doing
what few people have done.
Staff Sergeant Linville was an Explosive
Ordinance Disposal Technician in the Marine
Corp, stationed in Afghanistan in 2011, where
he had disarmed a multitude of IEDs. He estimated they disarmed about 1,800 IEDs a
month, because they had a mission to save
lives and stop the maiming. He explained,
"You believed that if you do it long enough, you
will get hurt, so you keep a positive attitude and
believe nothing can hurt you".
On January 20, when responding to an
IED detonation, conducting a sweep of the
surrounding area, he was struck by a tertiary
device. The explosion inflicted multiple injuries on Staff Sergeant Linville, including his
back, a hand and right foot. He underwent 14
surgeries in 18 months. He made every effort
to save his foot, before he lost it to a below
the knee amputation in the summer of 2013.
Staff Sergeant Linville explained that he
kept being told in the hospital what he
couldn't do. He learned from this experience
that he will never say the words, "I Can't." He
explained that when we say "I Can't", we put
ourselves in a small box. You can say "I Don't
Want", but not "I Can't". The other thing he
learned in the hospital was that "Happiness is
a Choice". He urged that you should make it
a conscious choice every day, no matter how
bad it gets, that with a strong community
around you, you can change.
In the spring of 2014, he agreed to come
on board with The Heroes Project, a nonprofit organization that works with injured
military veterans to inspire them to find purpose, both physically and mentally, and ignites
others to do the same. The organization
teaches Veterans that there are no boundaries,
no limits you can't reach. The Expeditions
for Heroes mission, allows them to explore
the farthest reaches of themselves and the
world they live in, by climbing the world's
highest peaks. According to Tim Medvitz,
founder of The Heroes Project, he selected
Charlie as the first to climb the highest peak
in the world, because of what the Staff Sergeant had in his head and his heart.
Charlie noted he was a skier, but never a
mountain climber. So, he became dedicated
to a strict and extremely difficult exercise and
photo / D
photo / T
USMC Staff Sergeant,
Charlie Linville, the first combat wounded amputee to reach
the top of Mt. Everest is shown at the Summit and as Keynote Speaker
at the 2017 FWSA Convention.
Keynote Speaker, Charlie Linville
Inspires Convention Attendees
by Jane Wyckoff
Convention Chair, FWSA
strength training program, and started to
climb. He decided to set goals, and one was
to climb to the top of the world. The climb
was halted in April 2014, after 16 Sherpas lost
their lives in an avalanche, and again on their
second attempt in April 2015, after the earthquake in Nepal. Charlie and Tim remained in
Nepal, assisting in the process of digging out
the rubble, and were determined to return for
a third try to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
Charlie's Father, Tom Linville, was able
to join him at the luncheon to hear his son's
Keynote Speaker presentation, and is proud of
his determination and courage. He admitted
he was a little concerned about his son's #1
Item on his Bucket List - to make it into
space! His service dog, Devon, stayed at his
Father's feet under the table during the luncheon, and when called, to the delight of the audience, jumped up on the stage.
"In life we all come against something that is impossible. Rise up.
Figure out what you want to do and how to do it.
Quitting lasts forever."
He then told the story of his climb, with
its difficulties and challenges, faced by all
climbers, and those special to an amputee. He
was in such good physical shape, that he
reached the last 10' of the summit 45 minutes
before his team, where he waited for them to
join him, before climbing to the top. "I left
everything bugging me on the mountain," he said.
On May 19, 2016, Charlie completed the last
of The Seven Summits for The Heroes Project, and became the first combat wounded
amputee to reach the top of Mt. Everest. Staff
Sergeant Linville emphasized, "In life we all
come against something that is impossible. Rise
up. Figure out what you want to do and how to
do it. Quitting lasts forever."
At the conclusion of his presentation,
Staff Sergeant Linville told the audience, he
wanted everyone to remember just two things
- choose to be happy, and never tell yourself
you can't do something.
The Far West Ski Association presented
Staff Sergeant Linville with a donation to his
selected charity, The Heroes Project. ss
To watch the complete Keynote
Speaker address, go to
www.fwsa.org and link into
YouTube. The direct link is:
Far West Skier's Guide 2O17 - 2O18 / See the Digital Edition of the Far West Skier's Guide at www.fwsa.org.