ATHENS, WV (WVNS) — Concord University honored America’s heroes virtually this year with its Veterans Day observance. The university welcomed World Champion paratriathlete and U.S. Army veteran Melissa Stockwell as this year’s featured speaker.
Stockwell, a retired second lieutenant, was seriously injured when a roadside bomb struck her humvee in Iraq just three weeks after her deployment. The blast left her without a leg and forced her to undergo multiple surgeries.
Since being medically discharged, Stockwell urged everyone to find their support circle, especially in this day and age.
“Find someone that you can call,” Stockwell said. “If you’re having an extra hard day. Lean on people, because we’re all in this world and we are all living in this together. We will get through it together.”
Stockwell was awarded the purple heart and the bronze star for her service.
She later became the first Iraqi War veteran to qualify for the Paralympics. Stockwell carried the American flag in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Paralympics Games in Beijing.