The Inspiring Triumph of Melissa Stockwell
By ROBERT PACE
July 11, 2012
Melissa Stockwell's life took a drastic turn when she lost a limb from a roadside bomb while serving as a U.S. Army officer in Iraq. She was the first woman soldier to lose a limb in Iraq, and while that "first" was anything but desirable, Stockwell achieved an impressive "first" after her wounds healed.
Although it certainly wasn't easy, Stockwell rehabbed her injuries and decided to pursue her dream of becoming an athlete. She then trained for the 2008 Paralympics Games in Beijing. Melissa's hard work paid off and she achieved a positive "first" by becoming the first Iraq veteran to be chosen for the Paralympics.
"I've done more in my life with one leg than I ever would have done with two," Stockwell said.
However, Melissa set her goals beyond merely making the Paralympics team and was disappointed when her results in Beijing weren't quite what she had hoped for.
With the same persistence that led her to the Paralympics team, she decided to turn her attention to training for triathlons. Stockwell has another four years to train for the triathlon competition at the Paralympics, as it won't become a Paralympic sport until the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A documentary called Warrior Champions about Melissa and three other Army veterans who were injured in the Iraq War and recovered to join the Paralympics premiered July 10 on the Documentary Channel.