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Cadet Ariel Summerlin Shares a Special Bond with Student at National Drill Championship:

Cadet Ariel Summerlin, a senior at Airport High School in West Columbia, SC, and Shawn Aberl a 6th grader at Bluegrass Middle School in Elizabethtown, KY pose together at the 2015 National Drill Competition held in Louisville KY, April 11, 2015. Cadet Summerlin and Shawn will soon share a special bond: life without a limb.

Cadet Summerlin, who was born without her left leg was asked to share her experience with Shawn, who is scheduled for an upcoming amputation surgery of his right leg.

Cadet Summerlin's condition precludes her from using a prosthesis, however this poses no obstacle to her being  a member of the Airport High School JROTC Competition Drill Team.

Shawn, who is the son of a civilian employee at the U.S. Army JROTC Cadet Command at Fort Knox, KY., was born with Popliteal Pterygium Syndrome, and has had over 40 surgeries to correct his limb deformity. His surgeon recently recommended amputation and prosthetic reconstruction.

Cadet Summerlin was happy to encourage Shawn and reassure him, with her own experiences and some lighthearted humor, that you can, no matter what, strive and achieve any goal you set for yourself.

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