Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
This Marine Almost Died. 8 Months Later, He Conquered A 50-Mile Race
Marine Cpl. Bryant Scott was dying when he arrived at a San Diego hospital in late July.
Suffering from heat stroke, the 27-year-old’s liver was shutting down and his heart stopped several times.
Doctors told the Kennewick native’s family there was a 10 percent chance of his recovery.
But eight months after waking up from a 14-day coma, Scott finished the 50-mile Badger Mountain Challenge on Saturday.
The run that cost Scott a career as a Marine, his liver and nearly his life started at 7 a.m. on a hot July day at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.
He had donned 45 to 55 pounds of gear for 13-mile navigation exercise across mountains and rivers.
As he was running, the desert temperature spiked to 109 degrees. Scott, already on the course, continued running. He was out ahead of his companions when his body shut down about 100 meters from the final checkpoint.
“They found me in a dried river bed. I was completely out,” Scott said. “I had a deep gash in my head. I had been bleeding for a while.”
He was flown from the scene, and was already in a coma when he arrived at the hospital.
“My heart kept stopping,” he said. “I was having massive cell death. I only had a small amount of time to live.”
Doctors removed his liver, and while that stopped his deterioration, he would need a liver transplant.
When Scott eventually woke up, he had lost 65 pounds of muscle. He couldn’t lift his arms, couldn’t sit up and had dozens of staples across his mid-section.
But Scott was determined to get better. By late September, he was released from the hospital to a rehabilitation center and returned to his mom Lanette Adams’ home in Kennewick in late December.
“I wasn’t in good shape,” he said. “I was emotionally and physiologically broken down. I had a lot of remorse because I wasn’t overseas with my (Marine) brothers. I just kept praying and working.”
Then in mid- to late January, Scott saw the sign for the Badger Mountain Challenge, and he decided he would tackle the 50-mile trail run with its steep climbs and descents.
His 3 1/2 -year career as a Marine ended with his collapse, and he’s now on terminal convalescent leave.
When he finishes the leave, Scott will be honorably discharged.
“The thing they kept saying was that your mission is to recover,” he said. “I have received nothing but love from them. ... I felt blessed to be part of the Marine Corps.”
Scott joined a gym and began intense strength and conditioning training called CrossFit. The now 192-pound Scott was determined to finish the Badger challenge.
He wanted to run the course for his fellow company of Marines, who are deployed in Syria.
When he was in peak condition, Scott could run three miles in 18 minutes. Last weekend, he trudged through the rain, tripping over his feet. He met others along the trail as morning slipped into afternoon and then into night.
As it reached 11:30 p.m. and the race was supposed to wrap up, organizers allowed him to go on. He simply kept running through the rain and dark.
“I wasn’t in a hurry to finish. I was just going to finish,” he said. “I was happy because I was actually there rather than lying in a bed.”
Then, at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, tired, bruised, and cramped, Scott crossed the finish line.
He was 69th out of 71 finishers — arriving 18 1/2 hours after he started.
His family met him at the finish with a sign showing the date of his liver transplant and the date of the race.
On Monday, he was still sore, but thinking about his next challenge.
“Doing something one time sets the bar for future events,” he said. “I know I’ll do a lot more 50 milers and marathons.”
©2017 Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
While the U.S. military wants to keep roughly 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban's deputy leader has just made clear that his group wants all U.S. service members to leave the country as part of any peace agreement.
"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote in a story for the New York Times on Thursday.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."
A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.
Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.
While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.