Chinese soldier lost 2cm height after 17 years' weight-bearing patrol on plateau

China Military Online
Chen Zhuo
Captain Yang Xiangguo was born in Yongchuan District of Chongqing Municipality in China in January 1984. He was enlisted in the army in December 2001. He now serves as a vice battalion commander at a frontier defense regiment of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Army.
Yang has patrolled more than 20,000 kilometers over his 17-year border lifetime. He escaped death 47 times, and was left with 21 scars on his body. Due to a long time of carrying heavy gears in patrol missions, he suffered from severe spinal deformity and lost 2 cm height during his service.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is dubbed the “roof of the world.” There, a patrol road zigzags for 100-plus kilometers across valleys and peaks with a relative height of 2,500 meters.
On February 1, 2019, Yang embarked on his 90th patrol mission. And each mission lasts five days and four nights.
It is a common scene in the past 17 years since Yang joined in the army: At a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius, he crossed 10 iced rivers and five snow-capped mountains while carrying gears as heavy as 35 kilograms.
The snow-covered steep mountain areas he patrolled are full of dangers. Yang escaped death 47 times, and was left with 21 scars which signified his persistence and resilience. Long-time patrolling with heavy gears caused his spine to deform, and excessive exposure to strong solar ultraviolet rays made him look older than others at his age.
“Never lose any inch of national territory under our guard!” This is the ultimate commitment made by Yang and his comrades.
Patrolling means dedication, and even sacrifice. Three of Yang’s comrades died in patrol missions in recent years. And in each patrol mission, Yang would visit the Martyr Cliff, salute to his comrades who sacrificed their lives for the nation and vow to himself: “A brave man should guard the border and be ready to die for the nation at any time.”

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