Marine becomes first veteran wounded in combat to summit Mt. Everest

Veteran wounded in Afghanistan climbs Mt. Eve... 02:17

NEW YORK -- On this Memorial Day we remember a Marine's remarkable journey -- one which nearly ended on a minefield in Afghanistan.

Instead, he became the first veteran -- wounded in combat -- to summit Mount Everest.

It took Charlie Linville seven weeks to reach the top of Mt. Everest. This was his third attempt.

Charlie Linville reaching the top of Mount Everest. CBS News

And he did it with a five-pound prosthesis strapped to his thigh.

"I've pushed my body to the ultimate extreme and came out victorious," he said. "And so that's confidence I get to carry with myself forever."

The 30-year-old Marine, a member of a bomb disposal unit, was badly injured in 2011 while in Afghanistan. The pain was so severe, he asked doctors to have his right leg amputated.

Charlie Linville after having his leg amputated. CBS News

"Then all of a sudden I was in a hospital bed where people wanted to push me in my wheelchair and had nothing but pity for me and felt sorry for me and wanted to take care of me all the time," Linville said.

Soon after, Linville was introduced to Tim Medvetz, founder of the Heroes Project featured on "60 Minutes," in 2015. The organization trains gravely wounded veterans, to climb up some of the world's highest mountains, to help them regain their strength and ready themselves for a lifetime of highs and lows.

"We're gonna show you what you're capable of and what those prosthetic legs are capable of," Medvetz said.

How has Linville changed as a person since his injury?

"I've changed completely," he said. "When I first got wounded, I was very depressed. I didn't know if life was worth living anymore."

But Linville said he didn't just climb for himself.

Charlie Linville climbing Mount Everest. CBS News

"When I got to the summit of Mt. Everest, I took a few tokens of fallen service members -- some really great friends that I remembered. And I said a little prayer, not only for them, but for every service member that has given their life for our great country. At the top of the world because for me that is as close as I can get to them," he said.

Honoring those who died while learning how to live, again.

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    Jericka Duncan is a national correspondent based in New York City and the anchor for Sunday's edition of the "CBS Weekend News."