Sunday, January 24, 2016

Amputee Iraq Veteran Focused on Her Journey to Beijing

Amputee Iraq veteran hands triathlon challenge to Fort Carson troops
By Tom Roeder
Published: January 24, 2016
"It is all about going from Baghdad to Beijing and realizing it's the journey that really mattered."Melissa Stockwell
Iraq war veteran Melissa Stockwell shows her prosthetic leg while speaking with members of Ft. Carson's Wounded Warrior Transition Unit and others about her experiences Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Iraq amputee Melissa Stockwell told a group of wounded, injured and ill Fort Carson soldiers that triathlon training saved her life after a bomb took her leg.

"It healed me from the inside out," Stockwell said last week during a breakfast gathering that urged the troops to join the Southeast Armed Services YMCA's new triathlon training team.

She's widely considered a triathlon medal contender at the Paralympic Games this summer in Rio De Janeiro.

Stockwell was a lieutenant in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division when her Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in 2004.

"I looked down and there was blood where my leg should have been," she said.

She was evacuated from Baghdad to Germany and then sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for treatment.

"Nobody told me my leg was gone," she recalled.

Stockwell, though, didn't have time to mourn her injuries at Walter Reed.

"I looked around and saw so many soldiers who were worse off than I was," she said.
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