WOW! This Amputee Vet’s Story Is SO Inspiring – WATCH

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First Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell was the first woman to lose a limb in active combat. Today, she’s a world-class athlete vying to compete in the 2016 Olympics.

Young Melissa Stockwell
Young Melissa Stockwell
As a child, Melissa dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast. She trained hard to achieve her goal, but, there was an overarching desire to be something very different than an Olympian.

Young Melissa Stockwell wanted to be an Army soldier… more than anything else in the world.

Shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9-11, Melissa followed her desire. While attending college at the University of Colorado, she enrolled in the Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, aka ROTC.

Little did the young woman who once aspired to be an Olympic gymnast know, it would be a decision that would forever change her life.

Melissa in Iraq, 2004
Melissa in Iraq, 2004
In 2004, Melissa was deployed to Iraq. She was in-country for less than a month when tragedy struck. On April 13th, 2004, Melissa was commanding a convoy traveling through Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded next to her Humvee.

The force of the explosion threw her unarmored vehicle “into a guardrail and then into a house.” Doctors at the Baghdad ER had to amputate her left leg above the knee.

Melissa Stockwell was about to begin her new life.

Army 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell in her Humvee, Iraq, 2004
Army 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell in her Humvee, Iraq, 2004
Melissa's Humvee after being hit by a roadside bomb
Melissa’s Humvee after being hit by a roadside bomb

Over the course of a year “Melissa endured infections and 15 surgeries.” She was awarded the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star for her service & injuries.

Melissa in the hospital recieving the Purple Heart
Melissa in the hospital recieving the Purple Heart

While recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center, Melissa made a promise to herself to live her life “for those that didn’t make it back and who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

Melissa, who once dreamed of going to the Olympics as a gymnast, sought to live for those who didn’t make it back from the war, through sports. She writes on her site: “Thanks to the Wounded Warrior Project I skied down the ski slopes of Breckenridge, Colo., on one leg proving to myself that there were no limits. Achilles’ Freedom team gave me the chance to handcycle the NYC marathon on 2005.”

Today, Melissa is a Paralympian, a 3-time World Paratriathlon Champion, and has won several US Paratriathlon championships. Melissa is also a certified prosthetist, designing prosthetics for other amputees.

Melissa fitting an amputee with a prosthetic leg
Melissa fitting an amputee with a prosthetic leg
Melissa celebrating her third consecutive World Championship
Melissa celebrating her third consecutive World Championship

Melissa is the co-founder of the Dare2Tri Paratriathlon Club which “serves youth, adults, and injured service members who have a physical disability such as amputation, spinal cord injury, stroke, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and those with visual impairments and blindness.” Melissa also served on the board of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Currently, this American dynamo is training to be on the U.S. Paralympic team which will compete in the 2016 Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Melissa Stockwell on her way to second place in the Rio 2016 test event in Copacabana (Alex Ferro/Comitê Rio 2016)
Melissa Stockwell on her way to second place in the Rio 2016 test event in Copacabana (Alex Ferro/Comitê Rio 2016)

Melissa has truly lived up to her promise to “live for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.” She is an inspiration. We know she’ll do well in her endeavors. She has a Warrior’s spirit. God bless her, her family, and all wounded veterans.

Here’s Melissa’s amazing story in her own words:

Melissa with former President, George W. Bush
Melissa with former President, George W. Bush

melissa-seated-by-pool

Follow Melissa’s journey on her website, HERE.
Melissa is on Facebook HERE
And on Twitter HERE

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By Jeff Rainforth
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Jeff was the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi from the Mexican prison, chairman emeritus of Ross Perot’s Reform Party of California, and a former candidate for governor. Jeff is editor-in-chief at Freedom Daily. He wrote for former Hollywood talent agent & Breitbart contributor, Pat Dollard, and headed up his 30 person research team. Mr. Rainforth also wrote for the Wayne Dupree Show. Jeff is single & says he is not gay.