Veteran Aaron Hale Finds Adversity Can Be… Sweet?

Veteran stories of inspiration like Aaron’s remind us why we work so hard to provide exceptional, cost-free programming to veterans with disabilities. Read on to learn more about Aarons journey to No Barriers!


“With the strength of our team and the fortitude that lies within each of us,” Aaron said, “We turn the adversity in front of us into an opportunity to excel. Every challenge placed before us has the potential for personal growth locked within. Challenge Accepted!”

Aaron Hale, a 14 year veteran, military chef and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D) team leader has overcome all odds.

Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale, U.S. Army (Ret.) lost his sight to an improvised explosive device while on deployment in Afghanistan as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist (EOD). No longer able to see, he searched for a way to carry forward, which led him to a No Barriers Warriors program in Peru. The experience helped Aaron reclaim his life of service and leadership.

Unfortunately for Aaron, his trials were far from over.

aaron hale with a group at what's your everest

Aaron unexpectedly contracted a rare and dangerous form of bacterial meningitis which lead him to undergo a multi-day coma. He emerged with painful headaches, crippling vertigo, and the devastating realization that his hearing was now gone.

Just when he was getting accustomed to life without sight, the universe dealt him this set of cards.

Aaron’s recovery was slow as he endured multiple surgeries and endless rehabilitation. With cochlear implants, he eventually regained some hearing.

During his lowest moments, Aaron told me he prayed, asking God, “Haven’t I given enough?”

Last summer, Aaron came back to a No Barriers event. With some support from his Rope Team, Aaron hiked a 12,500-foot mountain. While there, he made a pledge that he and his wife turned into a reality: Together, they started a high-end chocolate company called EOD Fudge (Extra Ordinary Delights). You can read even more harrowing details—and hopeful outcomes—of Aaron’s story here.

Aaron might be blind and deaf, but he is unstoppable.

aaron hale climbing macchu pichu

Donations can help us write veteran stories & inspiration like Aaron’s—and your own

In 2019, we were able to support more than 1,400 youth, 225 warriors, and bring nearly 5,000 individuals and families to the Summit. But this doesn’t include the hundreds of individuals we had to turn away due to lack of funding.
Be on rope with the No Barriers community as we strive to unleash the potential of the human spirit. Consider donating to further our impact this year!

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March 24, 2020
No Barriers

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