Disabled Veterans Climb Yosemite's Highest Peaks
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KMPH) —
A group of disabled veterans are honoring those who died on September 11th by climbing Yosemite's highest peaks.
To honor the victims of 9-11, 24 year-old Cody Elliot is strapped on his climbing leg for a dangerous trek that will challenge his body and mind:
"That's the lifestyle I'm used to in the military and to be able to come do it in a peaceful environment, with loving and caring people, it just makes it that much better," says Veteran Cody Elliot, "So that's really where I find my peace of mind."
Injured by an I.E.D. in Afghanistan, the former marine wondered if he'd ever be active again. Then Elliot and other wounded warriors found that climbing up, was a way out of the dark.
DJ Skelton, who lost an eye and half his jaw in Iraq, co-founded 'Paradox Sports', a non-profit that helps disabled vets enjoy life-affirming experiences.
"It's a reminder how blessed I am that I'm alive," says Veteran DJ Skelton.
The group of 13 veterans climbed El Capitan last year and climbed the peak again on Thursday. The climb not only honors those who lost their lives 13 years ago, but in Elliot's case, five buddies who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
"I believe I survived for purpose, and that's to live the life that they may have lived, or just to live for them in every moment I can," adds Elliot.
When the veterans reached the top of the climb, they observed a moment of silence. Then the group celebrated what they accomplished.