Melissa Stockwell

  • Travels From: Denver, CO
  • Fees: $20,000 - $35,000

Tagline: Inspirational Speaker

Talent Highlights

  • Retired U.S. Army 1st. Lt. – 1st female American soldier to lose a limb in active duty in Iraq – Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient

  • March 2023 – Appointed to President Biden’s Council on Sports, Physical Fitness & Nutrition

  • Amputee (AK) Marathon World Record Holder – Boston Marathon

  • Author of The Power of Choice:

Keynote Topics

If you ask Melissa Stockwell to describe herself one of the first things you’ll hear is, “I am a Patriot, a lover of the red, the white and the blue.” So much so that she had an American flag stitched to the inside of her wedding dress.


Melissa Stockwell proudly wore the uniform of the United States Army, where she very nearly made the ultimate sacrifice for her country. Today, she proudly wears the uniform of Team USA as a World Champion athlete.


Melissa Stockwell shares her remarkable story, from the battlefields of Bagdad to the Paralympic Games, in an emotionally powerful presentation that leaves audiences inspired to see ability not disability, to maximize what you do have and forget about what you don’t and to apply, as she details, “…the amazing power of choice.”

Melissa Stockwell is the first female soldier to ever lose a limb in active combat and has been awarded both The Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

In a world filled with stories of perseverance and determination, Melissa Stockwell journey stands as a shining testament to the power of the human spirit. An inspirational speaker, decorated Paralympian, U.S. Army veteran, and advocate, Melissa Stockwell has inspired countless individuals with her incredible life story.

WeSpeak Global delves into the remarkable life of Melissa Stockwell, highlighting her journey from a soldier to a Paralympic champion, and how she continues to motivate and encourage people worldwide as a powerful inspirational speaker.

The Early Life and Military Service

Melissa Stockwell’s life was forever changed on a fateful day in April 2004. Serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, she was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On April 13, 2004, her vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, resulting in the loss of her left leg above the knee. This life-altering incident could have easily crushed her spirit, but it instead became the catalyst for an awe-inspiring journey of resilience.

After the incident, Melissa’s unwavering determination to overcome adversity propelled her to strive for greatness. She refused to let her disability define her or hold her back from achieving her dreams. In 2008, she became the first female amputee to return to active duty as a soldier in the U.S. Army and later was promoted to Captain.

A Journey to Paralympic Greatness

Melissa Stockwell’s athletic journey began before her military service, and her love for sports played a significant role in her recovery. She embraced the world of adaptive sports, particularly swimming and triathlon. Her dedication to training and her indomitable spirit led her to become a world-class Paralympic athlete.

Melissa made her Paralympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, representing the United States as a Paratriathlete. Her remarkable journey took her to the pinnacle of sports as she competed in three Paralympic Games, including London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Her resilience and passion culminated in a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, making her a true champion both in and out of the water.

Melissa Stockwell | Inspiring USA Paralympian

Beyond the Medals: Advocacy and Inspiration

Melissa Stockwell’s story is not merely one of personal achievement; it is a beacon of inspiration for others who face adversity. She realized the importance of sharing her story to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life. After her military and Paralympic career, she transitioned into becoming a full-time inspirational speaker.

As a sought-after motivational speaker, Melissa Stockwell uses her experiences to motivate audiences worldwide. Her speeches are a powerful testament to resilience, adaptability, and the strength of the human spirit. Melissa’s ability to connect with her audience, whether they are students, corporate professionals, or military veterans, makes her an impactful presence on the speaking circuit.

Melissa’s message centers on the power of choice and the ability to turn adversity into an advantage. She encourages her listeners to embrace change, face challenges head-on, and discover their own inner resilience. Her speeches remind us that no matter how difficult life’s hurdles may be, the choice to overcome them lies within us.

Advocating for Veterans and Amputees

Melissa Stockwell’s commitment to service and advocacy extends beyond her motivational speaking. She co-founded Dare2Tri, an organization dedicated to helping athletes with physical disabilities engage in paratriathlons and other adaptive sports. This organization not only provides training and support but also fosters a sense of community among those facing similar challenges.

In addition to her work with Dare2Tri, Melissa has been an active advocate for veterans’ rights and healthcare. She believes in empowering veterans and ensuring they receive the support and care they deserve after their service.

Recognition and Awards

Melissa Stockwell’s extraordinary journey has not gone unnoticed. Throughout her life, she has received numerous awards and accolades that recognize her achievements, dedication, and advocacy work. Some of these include:

  1. Bronze Medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Paratriathlon.
  2. The Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2019 ESPY Awards.
  3. The Disabled Sports USA’s Impact Award.
  4. Recognition in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Sports.


Melissa Stockwell’s life story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, the power of resilience, and the ability to rise above adversity. Her journey from soldier to Paralympian to inspirational speaker has inspired countless individuals to overcome their own challenges and reach for greatness. Melissa’s unwavering determination, her commitment to service, and her ability to connect with people make her a truly exceptional individual.

As an inspirational speaker, advocate, and Paralympian, Melissa Stockwell continues to uplift and motivate audiences across the globe. Her message is one of hope, empowerment, and the unshakeable belief that every individual has the potential to triumph over life’s obstacles. Melissa Stockwell’s story is not just about her personal achievements; it is a testament to the indomitable human spirit, reminding us all that we can turn adversity into opportunity and emerge stronger and more resilient.

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