Neil Duncan wrote -
Mission: To climb the tallest peak in all of the Americas, Aconcagua, in order to raise awareness and funds for several non-profit organizations that assist our returning wounded service members. The climbing team will consist ofonly one primary climber, double leg amputee SGT (retired) Neil Duncan, guided by Drew Ludwig of Mountain Trip.
Background: Sgt. Duncan served as a paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Brigade for five years. During his military service, Neil served two combat deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Towards the end of his tour in Afghanistan, Sgt. Duncan’s vehicle was attacked with a explosive device, causing severe trauma to Sgt. Duncan. His injuries included multiple broken bones and flesh wounds, severe facial trauma, and the loss of both legs. In 2010, Sgt. Duncan, along with two other war-wounded amputees, conducted a successful mission to climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest point in Africa and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain at 19,320 ft. In the summer of 2012, Sgt. Duncan attempted to scale the tallest peak in North America, Denali, with other amputees. Unfortunately, the team was not successful due to weather, though the team did achieve an altitude of nearly 16,000 ft. during the three-week climb.
Beneficiaries: The benefiting organizations have been active within the veteran community for several years and continue to be active today. Please check out their websites for more specific background information.
Warfighter Sports – www.dsusa.org - Warfighter Sports is a program that is operated by Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA). DSUSA has been operating since 1967 when it was established by disabled Vietnam Veterans to serve the war injured. Today, DSUSA has national chapters who offer sports related rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability.
Tee It Up For the Troops – www.teeitupforthetroops.org - Tee It Up For the Troops is a non-profit organization that honors and supports returning veterans through hosting fundraising events. The proceeds of Tee It Up’s fundraisers are granted to a variety of other non-profits, which offer specific programs that also serve the nations returning veteran and wounded veteran populations. In this way, Tee It Up For the Troops is able to positively impact a large number of our nations veterans.
Vail Veterans Program – www.vailveteransprogram.com - Since 2004, Vail Veterans Program has been providing rehabilitative sport programs to recently wounded U.S. military personnel and their families. The events take place in and around Vail, CO, though the wounded veterans and their families are brought in from military hospitals all across the country. _______________________________________________________________________
Click on the link to get an idea of what nearly three weeks will be like: Itinerary
Now, compound that picture you have with the complications of two prosthetic legs and you have Operation: Aconcagua.