Hometown Hero inspires many while blind

Published 07/05 2013 07:09PM

Updated 07/08 2013 01:09PM

CHAMPAIGN -- He lost his sight while fighting overseas, but that's not stopping this Hometown Hero from reaching high ground, and even the big screen. WCIA 3's Amanda Porterfield has more.

Whether the fame from this film lasts his whole life or only 15 minutes, Steve Baskis will truly feel like a star.

"I still always think about who I was before and how I was more agile and just things were simple."

But it's who he is now that's inspiring millions. A blind man who climbs mountains, just to stay busy.

"I've always wanted to see the world. I tell people I see it in a different perspective now."

His trek through the Himalayas with ten other veterans is now a documentary called High Ground. They share similar stories of injury, battle and finding their way through life after service.

"The army, the military really does teach you how to work with a team, be a team player and push yourself, your mind and body to the limit, and be there for your friends and teammates in the most desperate times and moments."

It was the front lines where Baskis lost his sight and his best friend. He was with a small group protecting a General. Their vehicle hit an IED, sending shrapnel through the car into his brain, arms, and legs.

"Staying real busy, it allows me to not dwell and think on the negative things that have happened. I just try to look forward to what I can do."

Being able to lean on some new friends, Baskis can do a lot. Together, they've climbed 20,000 feet.

"I've gotten quicker and quicker at being able to literally walk through some crazy, regular terrain. I'm not going to let blindness slow me down. It is dangerous. It's very dangerous, but a lot of fun and I put a lot of trust into people that I climb with. I just hope they're inspired to live life a little bit more, you know. Just do what they want to, because that's all I'm doing."

Baskis spends a lot of his time traveling and giving motivational speeches around the country. The documentary premiered in Champaign in January. It's available on Netflix.

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