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Summiting Mt. Everest!

English I students at CMA were provided the opportunity to meet the first Purple Heart Recipient/Combat Wounded Veteran to climb the Seven Summits! The class is currently "summiting Mt. Everest" through a book entitled, "Peak", by Roland Smith. Media Coordinator Emily Woods saw this as a great opportunity to bring the book to real life by inviting Benjamin Breckheimer to speak with the class.

Ben is an Army veteran turned mountaineer and adventurer. He is currently living in Charlotte, NC working as a surgical technician with the very surgeon that saved his leg after suffering an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Afghanistan. He is also a volunteer and mentor with the nonprofit organization OneTeam Colgan Foundation through which he is able to visit U.S. Military bases throughout the world to speak to service members about his experiences and to encourage resiliency. He has overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties and obstacles, while still aiming to encourage and inspire others. Students were also able to inspect and try out various mountain climbing gear and tools.

Benjamin states, “If I've learned anything so far, it's that when you get knocked down by life...or blown up by an IED, or caught in an avalanche, you can never give up...ever. You have to keep going and keep your head up because your life and your experiences, no matter how humble or limited, may inspire and encourage someone else.” 

Students looking at climbing gear     Students trying on climbing gear   Students listening to a speaker  Students smiling in a picture with mountain climber