by Mitch Lehman
Thomas Vandenburg, an eight-year-old second grader at Valentine Elementary School, summitted the 10,068 ft. peak of Mount San Antonio (commonly known as Mt. Baldy) this past Sunday while participating in ‘Hike for Heroes,’ which honored and raised funds for wounded veterans who have sustained life-altering injuries during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the eleven-hour trek, Thomas spent time with three veterans – Brad, Mark and Dennis – who shared stories of how they sustained their injuries. He reported that hearing the first-hand accounts from the military men left him “inspired, and determined to reach the top.”
After a long and arduous journey, Thomas enjoyed his hard-earned view from the highest point in Los Angeles County.
Thomas also assisted a young lady named Gabby, providing comfort and the last energy bar in his backpack. The two reached the top together and jointly entered base camp after the sojourn.
Thomas’s most impressive effort, however, may have been recorded the next morning.
“He woke up the next morning at 7:00,” reported his mother, Mimy. “Thomas was happy, energetic and ready to ride his bike to school!”
Youth – well, in this case, is not wasted on the young…
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