Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Kirstie Ennis Continues to Inspire Through Challenges

Veteran and amputee inspires with each death-defying climb
USA Today
Sheeka Sanahori, Militarykind Oct. 3, 2018

"The main thing that saved me, saved me from myself, really was my dad telling me, 'You've got to be shittin' me. The enemy couldn't kill you, and you're going to do it for them?'"

Kirstie Ennis is on a mission to become the first female amputee to climb the highest peaks on every continent. She's well on her way to accomplishing her latest mission.

"It reminds you of your resiliency, it reminds you of your independence, it's a fight," Ennis said. "Quite literally an uphill battle and I love it."

Ennis is used to tough battles. She joined the U.S. Marine Corp when she was 17, following in the footsteps of both of her parents.

She was deployed to Afghanistan twice. During her second deployment, a helicopter crash changed her life.

"I lost my entire jaw, my teeth, especially on the right side. And then I just screamed. I screamed mostly out of shock, not pain," she said. "One of the Army medics that we picked up got in my face and told me not to close my eyes again because I wouldn't open them and then everything went black."

Ennis raises money for non-profits from her climbs and from modeling. She was the first amputee to pose for a fundraiser calendar for the nonprofit organization called Pin-ups for Vets, which raises money to help hospitalized veterans and deployed troops.
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