Marine carries fellow veteran on 14-mile hike


PROVO, Utah --- Two veterans who served in the Marine Corps together like to go hiking together. The catch is one of the men, Jonathon Blank, lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan 10 years ago.

That has not stopped John Nelson, who was there when Blank suffered his injury, from getting his friend out to the mountain with him.

The pair was spotted by a Facebook user named Phil Casper on Aug. 24 when Nelson was seen carrying all 135 pounds of Blank up Mt. Timpanogos, the second tallest mountain Utah’s Wasatch Range.

According to KTSU in Salt Lake City, Nelson was driving by Mount Timpanogos when he thought, ‘I’m going to take Jonathon to the top of that, by myself.’

Nelson carried Blank, who weighs 135 lbs, on his back for 14.3 miles, gaining 4,500 feet of elevation.

“I thought this would be something epic for him to experience, to actually get to the saddle,” Nelson said.

“They were committed to reach the summit. Having just exhausted myself to reach the summit with less than 5 lbs on my back, it was hard to fathom the drive that the pair possessed to achieve their goal,” Casper said on Facebook. “To have arrived where I met them was already an incredible accomplishment. It was a powerful and inspiring experience to see them on their way.”