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Achilles International 'Freedom Team': 25 Wounded Vets Complete Marathon (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 03/19/2012 6:49 pm   Updated: 06/14/2012 10:08 am

Banding together as the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, 25 vets took on 26.2 miles.

The group competed in the Honda L.A. Marathon Sunday in Los Angeles through Achilles International. The nonprofit, which empowers people with disabilities to participate in athletics, has chapters across the United States and in 60 countries worldwide.

Achilles International founder Dick Traum, who lost one of his legs at 24 when it was smashed between two cars, went on to become the first amputee to finish a marathon when he crossed the line in New York in 1976.

The Freedom Team was founded in 2004 to specifically aid veterans.

"We're giving people an opportunity to achieve," Traum told The Huffington Post in August. "When one achieves it sets off the 'Well, if I can do this, I can probably do that too' response. It improves the level of aspiration."

To get involved with Achilles International, click here.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story didn't identify each athlete in the photos. The names of all the pictured athletes have been included.

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25 Wounded Warriors Complete LA Marathon
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Marine Cpl. Justin Gaertner was one of 25 wounded veterans from the Achilles Freedom Team to compete in the Honda LA Marathon on Sunday.

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Filed by Emily Heinz  |