Iraq War amputee becomes Paralympian, inspires Upstate kids

SLATER-MARIETTA, S.C. (WSPA) — Melissa Stockwell says she always had a desire to serve.

She enlisted in the United States Army right out of school. Melissa Stockwel

When she was 24-years-old, she was deployed to Iraq.  In April 2004, a roadside bomb went off near her humvee.

Stockwell lost her left leg.

When she woke up in the Baghdad ER, she says the furthest thing from her mind was becoming a Paralympian.

A lifelong athlete, Stockwell researched the Paralympic games and went through intense training.

She competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and loved, once again, being able to represent her country.

When she’s not training or competing, Stockwell travels to schools — working to inspire students by sharing her story.

She spent Thursday morning at Slater-Marietta Elementary in Greenville County.

Melissa Stockwell

Students were able to see how her prosthetic leg worked.

They were also able to ask questions about Stockwell’s service and recovery.

Stockwell hopes to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic games which will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She says even if she could go back to the day she lost her leg, she wouldn’t change a thing.

“I’ve been able to do more with one leg than I ever would have with two,” said Stockwell.

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