Warfighter Sports Denali Challenge
March 14, 2017
DISABLED SPORTS USA wrote -
As part of Disabled Sports USA's 50th Anniversary Celebration, Disabled Sports USA is sending a team of three warfighters to summit Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America. On May 6, 2017, the Warfighter Sports team will begin their challenge to summit Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, which at 20,320 feet is considered one of the coldest in the world. With thousands of bottomless crevasses, frequent avalanches, extreme winds (up to 150 mph) and severe cold (down to 40 degrees F below zero in summer), many experts consider Denali to be one of the toughest mountains in the world to climb.
The purpose of the climb is to inspire and motivate fellow wounded warriors and others who are facing the challenge of rehabilitation after severe injury to realize that they can lead active, fulfilling lives with their disabilities. The long, arduous, step by step process of rehabilitation is very similar to climbing mountains. Both require dedication, persistence, planning and executing fitness programs, and taking one step at a time to the thousands that it takes to reach the goal of rehabilitation and summiting.
Cheer on their commitment by pledging your support! Funds raised will ensure that sports rehabilitation programs for wounded warriors continue to be offered free of cost through DSUSA's Warfighter Sports!
3 easy ways to pledge your support:
- Disabled Sports USA Donation Page
- Join the CrowdRise fundraising team
- Send your donation via mail. Our address is: Disabled Sports USA, 451 Hungerford Drive, Suite 600, Rockville, MD 20850 l Memo: Warfighter Sports Denali Challenge
Meet the Team!
Warrant Officer, 1st Class William “Pete” Linkroum, U.S. National Guard
Pete Linkroum, 39, was on his second deployment in Afghanistan in 2009 as a special forces medic with the Army when he and his team came under enemy fire and a rocket propelled grenade hit the vehicle he was driving resulting in radial nerve palsy, burns, and shrapnel damage to his arm along with some hearing loss. He was in the service for 14 years before resigning his commission to focus on his family and career. Mountaineering was a passion of Pete’s before the military and it has carried over since. He was a Colorado Outward bound mountaineering instructor, led grade II and III ice and rock climbs, and summited peaks of varying elevations. Pete is an oncology and critical care practicing nurse in Baltimore, MD where he lives with his wife, Suzanne, and two young daughters.
Staff Sergeant Paul Andrew, U.S. Marine Corps
Paul Andrew, 45, served in the Marines for seven years and sustained multiple injuries while on active duty, including exposure to a dangerous chemical compound stateside in 1997 resulting in permanent lung damage, damage to his vertebrae when an armored hatch closed down on his head when a lock failed and damage to his right knee from an injury while in Okinawa, resulting in use of a casted brace for full mobility. He was medically separated from service in 2002. Paul has summited Mount Shasta and Mount Whitney several times and calls mountaineering his passion. For Paul, mountaineering is the absolute best way he has found to attack his physical limitations head on and maintain his warrior spirit. Climbing Mt. McKinley (Denali) has been on a long time goal on his bucket list. Paul is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of a Defense consulting firm based in both San Diego, CA and Charleston, SC. He and his wife, Rachel, live in Jamul, CA.
Petty Officer, 1st Class Jason Aldine, U.S. Navy
Jason Aldine, 34, tackled a rocket propelled grenade during deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. The contact resulted in a penetrating traumatic brain injury, retained intra-cranial shrapnel and facial reconstruction. He retired in 2013 after serving in the Navy for six years. Jason is a ski mountaineering enthusiast and has summited mountains in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, and Utah. Raised through the Boy Scouts of America, his passion for outdoor adventures began in earnest upon certifying as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician through the National Outdoor Leadership School in 2004. Jason is currently enrolled at Harvard University where he is laser-focused on finance and investing. Originally from West Texas, Jason and his wife Tracy now live outside of Boston, MA. Pseudonyms used in text above for the protection of individuals’ name.
A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for making this climb possible!
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Air Warrior Courage Foundation was formed by military aviators to “care for our own.” We work closely with the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association to do that. We focus on active duty, guard, reserve and retired military personnel and their families needing financial assistance for medical, educational, and other extraordinary expenses not covered by other military, veterans’, or charitable institutions.
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for wounded warriors with permanent physical disabilities in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. in partnership with a nationwide network of over 120 community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 50 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 of the warrior and a family member, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals. Since 2003, more than 10,000 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 www.warfightersports.org