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Melissa Stockwell - United States of America

First Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell grew up in Georgia and Minnesota, and attended college at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to serve her country, joined ROTC in college, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, U. S. Army on May 15, 2002. Lt. Stockwell became part of the Transportation Corps and joined her husband in Fort Hood, TX as part of the 1st Cavalry Division. They were both deployed to Iraq in early March of 2003.

Soon after arriving in Iraq, Lt. Stockwell was on a routine convoy when her unarmored Humvee was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED - roadside bomb). It was necessary for her left leg to be amputated at the knee. Her husband remained by her side and broke the news of the amputation to her. Soon after, they were allowed to return to the U.S. together.

“With my husband and family surrounding me, I have dealt with frustrations and setbacks, trying to keep a positive attitude through it all,” says Stockwell. “A little over a year since my accident, I have completed the New York City marathon, learned to ski, bike, and swim again, but more importantly I have learned how precious life is.”

Lt. Stockwell was recently medically retired from the Army and looks forward to pursuing work in prosthetics in the hope that she can make a difference in the lives of other amputees.

She participated in the recent Approaches to Recovery and Reintegration of Survivors of War-Related Injuries conference organized by LSN. Survivors from 37 countries gathered to discuss recovery and resiliency after injury from a landmine or UXO (unexploded ordnance). They exchanged stories on how peer support, the use of sports in rehabilitation, and economic opportunities for people with disabilities can affect one’s overall recovery.

During a keynote lunch at the Conference on Tuesday, May 10th, in which Lt. Stockwell spoke of her experiences, she stated that peer support from family and fellow soldiers continues to help her on the road to recovery.

View the next profile: John Wack

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