Fallen Marine honored by comrade
GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Kingsley native Justin Hansen was killed in 2012, serving as a Marine in Afganistan.
Nearly six years later, he continues to be honored by his comrades.
Scott Wyly was the medvac section leader on Justin's base in Bala Murghab, Afganistan. Scott wasn't close with Justin, but since there were only 50 Americans on the base, they spent time together and the whole base was impacted when Justin was killed.
Now, Scott is climbing mountains around the world to honor Justin and four other fallen Marines from the base.
"I just thought that this would be a great way, doing something as tough and challenging as this, I thought it'd be a great way to honor all of them," Wyly said. "Afghanistan was probably the most significant year of my life. Having spent a lot of that with those guys and the fact that they're not around anymore, I figured it'd be a great way to honor them.
Scott made it to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro and came close on Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina. Most recently, he came about 1,000 feet to the peak of Mt. Elbrus in Russia on Tuesday.
According to Justin's dad, Rick, motivation on mountains isn't new to his son.
"Out in Pendleton, where he did basic training, there's a mountain out there," Rick said. "When they get to the end before they can graduate, as a team they all have to climb this mountain. When I went out there for his graduation, I had one guy telling me Justin was pushing him up the hill and another guy telling me he was pulling him at the same time to get the whole team up the hill. That's the drive and determination that that boy had."
Scott's initial goal was to summit seven peaks around the world, but after his grueling trek up and down Mt. Elbrus, he says he'll need some recovery time before considering another.