Blind Army vet treks across Antarctica with Prince Harry - WNCN: News, Weather

Blind Army vet treks across Antarctica with Prince Harry

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"Prince Harry is just awesome," he said.  "He's just very genuine, very kind and has a huge heart and he just wants to help the service members." "Prince Harry is just awesome," he said. "He's just very genuine, very kind and has a huge heart and he just wants to help the service members."
RALEIGH, N.C. - A wounded warrior is back in the Tar Heel state after trekking across Antarctica with royalty.

It was all to raise money and awareness for veterans' causes.


Capt. Ivan Castro of the U.S. Army spent weeks in Antarctica braving the frigid temperatures alongside England's Prince Harry. Castro said it was an amazing journey and he did it all blind.

He said he wants to prove that people with limitations can do anything they put their minds to.


"It was an experience, never the less being blind," Castro said. 

Castro said will he never forget the bitter cold terrain of Antarctica where he spent weeks trying to ski across more than 100 miles acros ice acrossnow.


"It was a full year of training. Very intense," he said.  "It was cold weather training and ski training." 

That training helped Castro race against veterans from around the world.  It was all for a charity group called "Walking with the Wounded.The organization helps wounded vets find jobs outside the military. Each team had their own celebrity in tow. 

For this trek, it was England's Prince Harry.

"Prince Harry is just awesome," he said.  "He's just very genuine, very kind and has a huge heart and he just wants to help the service members."


What started off as a race between three teams to get to the finish line ended as one big team when the weather started to get the best of the brave men and women.

"The temperatures were between minus 30 to minus 45 and in that type of weather, any wind could be fatal," said Castro.  "We had a couple of cases of frost bite, water in the lungs, severe blisters. You name it. The organizers said it didn't make sense for us having been injured in combat try to make an attempt to the South Pole on a race and then get injured there so he just called off the race."

In the end, they came together and pushed on to the South Pole together.

Castro said he's not done pushing the limits. Now he wants to make it to the North Pole. As long as it raises money and awareness for veterans, he's all for it. 

In the meantime, Castro is participating in a "Special Operations Challenge" 5 and 10K walk and run in Raeford on May 31.  

Copyright WNCN 2014.  All rights reserved.

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