Retired Recon Marines Go Hiking, One Carried Up A Mountain By the Other
Even Retired Recon Marines are tough. when they’ve been through combat together, there’s a bond that the rest of us will never comprehend. Ten years after their service together Jonathon Blank and John Nelson went hiking. Not an ordinary hikie… Nelson carried Blank up Mt Timpanogos in Utah, 4,500 feet high. Jonathan Blank lost his legs to an IED blast. (Fox13)
The retired Recon Marines went through a lot together over the years. During his service, John Nelson recalled that he happened to step away from the spot where an IED detonated seconds later and destroyed Jonathon’s legs. We can’t comprehend how that weighs on him.
One day he told media that he was driving by Mt Timpanogos and thought, ‘I’m going to take Jonathon to the top of that, by myself.’ And a hike was born.
Nelson thought it would be an “epic” experience for Blank. “I thought this would be something epic for him to experience, to actually get to the saddle.” The ‘saddle’ of Mt Timpanogos rises 4,500 in the air on a steep narrow ridge. Carrying someone who weighs 135 lbs that high over 14.3 miles, was not an easy feat.
The hike wasn’t without its issues: Nelson said it was hte pressure on his shoulders that made it difficult, and Blanks said that having his rams in the same position around Nelson’s neck caused numbness. But they both told local media that the view from the top made it all worth it.
Two other hikers that day who saw them, Nate Laird and Phil Casper, found it awe-inspiring to see the determination of the retired Recon Marines.
“When you see that, you see that determination for them to do what they do, and you want to do that for you and your families.” Nate Laird
The duo is already planning another hike on Veteran’s Day – Mt Whitney, the tallest mountain in California at over 14,500 feet.
“Not only have I lived through this, but we’re also special operations guys. We can do anything. We can maybe instill that mindset into other people.” Jonathon Blank