Three Amputee Veterans Summit Kilimanjaro



From left: Kirk Bauer, Dan Nevis, Neil Duncan, and a DS/USA volunteer trek toward Kiliminjaro's summit. Photograph courtesy of Reed Hoffman, Microsoft Imaging.

A three-man amputee team sponsored by Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA) and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has achieved the 19,340-foot climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, to raise awareness and inspire athletes with disabilities. The three climbers achieved their goal on August 7, six days after beginning their journey. All three are missing one or both lower limbs: Army Sgt. (Ret.) Neil Duncan, 26, of Denver, Colorado, is a bilateral leg amputee injured in Afghanistan; Army Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Dan Nevins, 37, of Jacksonville, Florida, is a bilateral transtibial amputee injured in Iraq; and Sgt. (Ret.) Kirk Bauer, JD, 62, of Ellicott City, Maryland, is a unilateral transfemoral amputee injured in Vietnam. Bauer is executive director of DS/USA. The three are also members of the DS/USA's Warfighter Sports program.

"Our message in this climb is to both our wounded military, who have made such a sacrifice to this great country of ours, and to people with disabilities throughout the nation," Bauer said. "If three veterans from three wars and two generations with one good leg between them can climb the tallest mountain in Africa, then all with disabilities can choose to be active and healthy through sports."

The team's climb was part of DS/USA's Warfighter Sports Series, a schedule of challenge events that help military service members with permanent disabilities, such as amputations, spinal cord injury, visual impairment, or traumatic brain injury, reach their full potential through participation in extreme and endurance sports. The event was chronicled by award-winning photographer Reed Hoffman, through a grant from Microsoft Imaging.

For additional photos of the event and participant blogs, visit www.warfightersports.org