In 2002, Melissa graduated from the University of Colorado and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Two year later she deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division to Baghdad, Iraq. On April 13, 2004, she was on a routine convoy when her HUMVEE was hit by a roadside bomb. The blast resulted in the amputation of her left leg above the knee and she became the first female to ever lose a limb in active combat.
After a year of rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center she was medically retired with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. She quickly adapted into a life of sports and went on to swim in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics before turning to the sport of triathlon in 2009.
She is a 3x Paratriathlon World Champion and a recent bronze medalist from the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Melissa currently travels the nation for her career as a motivational speaker and runs a prosthetics company with her husband in Colorado Springs.
Melissa is a proud above the knee amputee, a proud American and proudly lives a life of sport. She feels she has done more in her life with one leg than she ever would have done with two. Melissa is currently training with hopes of her third Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
In this podcast, Melissa and Cindra talk:
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