Charlie Linville speaks at Kuna Veterans Day assembly

Posted at 6:28 PM, Nov 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 21:12:08-05

Veterans Day celebrations kicked off early in the Treasure Valley Thursday with a powerful message from a famous U.S. Marine Corps veteran at Kuna High School.

Charlie Linville, a Boise native, is the first combat amputee to ever summit Mount Everest.

Of course, Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor military veterans who served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. At Kuna High, all service members were represented.

There was a focus on the meaning of the U.S. flag and how it stands for everything our country was founded upon and that veterans from all generations fought to protect.

"The flag stands for freedom, liberty, justice, humanity, unity, and more importantly, honor and sacrifice," said Ross Blattner, a KHS student who spoke at the assembly.

Linville, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, shared his story.

"When I lost my first friend, my first Marine in combat, it was really difficult but, at the time, I was there for the last moments of his life," he said. "And, he smiled at me and said he wouldn't have done it any different."

It was in the name of the countless number of friends Linville lost in combat that he found the endurance and will to climb the earth's highest mountain with a prosthetic leg despite setbacks due to weather that took place over a matter of years. In the face of every challenge, he knew that giving up was not an option.

"If you're a single, double, triple amputee or severely burned, you have gunshot wounds, nerve damage... there's a lot of limiting factors to things people believe you're capable of doing but I never accepted that," Linville said.

Linville encouraged the next generation to carry on with the same attitude that anything is possible.