Thank you so much for helping coordinate the Veterans Day speaking engagement with Melissa. What an incredible story and inspiration! Zillow is absolutely abuzz with glowing reviews and the Veterans Network was super proud to be able to showcase such a cool event. Her message really struck a chord especially in these uncertain times. She was the perfect fit.
The Power of Choice
by Melissa Stockwell
On April 13, 2004, Melissa Stockwell lost her leg to an IED during a routine patrol in Iraq, making her the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War. This was just the beginning of her inspiring story of perseverance and triumph.
"I have had the chance to meet Melissa and hear her amazing story in person. In this book, Melissa shares insight on how she became a warrior and fought back to become the champion she is today. She is a great example of perseverance in the face of what appears to be insurmountable hurdles. Her love of country is strong and carries through her joining the military and representing Team USA in the Paralympic Games. A true champion in many ways."--Jackie Joyner Kersee
"Melissa's story of strength and courage is not only incredibly moving, it is a must-read for anyone facing any challenge. Clearly her passion for country and sport drives every one of her accomplishments. From a young gymnast like I was, to representing the United States in Paratriathlon, Melissa inspires us all with her story of overcoming unimaginable adversity and what it truly means to be unstoppable."--Shannon Miller
Melissa Stockwell has been a restless force of nature from the time she was a little girl speeding around her neighborhood on her bike, to her tumbles and spills as a high-level gymnast and Olympic hopeful, to joining the ROTC in college as an outlet for her patriotism and love of America.
After 9/11, she was deployed to Iraq as a commissioned Army officer, where she suffered the injury that would change her life forever. After a long and challenging recovery at Walter Reed Hospital, she exercised her power of choice to channel her energy into competition, winning three Paratriathlon World Championships and medaling at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Her journey weaves service to her country and the heartache of a painful divorce along with founding a successful nonprofit, launching a career in prosthetics, finding new love, and becoming a mother to two children. Along the way, she meets all the living American presidents and inspires others with disabilities--through a story that is riveting, moving, and an inspiration for anyone who would choose to live their life to the fullest.
Featured Keynote Program
The Power of Choice
An aspiring gymnast in childhood, Melissa Stockwell dreamed of someday representing Team USA at the Olympics Games. As college approached, her Patriotic dreams shifted to representing her country as a member of the U.S. Army. Upon graduating, she was commissioned and soon thereafter deployed to Iraq. It was there that a roadside bomb made her the first female American solider to lose a limb in active combat. What followed was a remarkable story of resilience and perseverance, and of the indominable spirit of a woman who chose not only to survive, but to thrive.
Now a Paralympic medalist, a World Champion, a World Record Holder and an Ironman, Melissa’s keynote “The Power of Choice” is an emotionally commanding presentation that will both redefine your perception of disability and inspire you to rethink your own limits.
Melissa Inspired our team today during these unsettling times. She shared her personal & intimate story of resilience, moving forward, love of family, and the critical aspect of team work. She ignited the flame inside all of us and helped influence a mindset of positive thinking, reflection on life and the importance of being a good teammate.