Matthew Melancon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army (RET)
Matthew “Matt” Melancon was on a routine patrol in Afghanistan in 2011 when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. The explosion caused severe injuries to both of Matt’s legs and collapsed his lung. After attempts to salvage his left leg proved unsuccessful, he chose to have the limb amputated below the knee in July 2013. Just a short five months later, Matt attended an event with Move United and learned to snowboard again. “That event gave my physical therapy a reason, beyond just walking again,” he said. After the event, Matt chose to have his right leg amputated in order to gain more mobility. “Move United exposed me not just to other amputees whose injuries were comparable, and often far more severe than my own, but true athletes and champions. i saw what i could be as long as i wanted it badly enough,” said Matt. He hasn’t let either amputation slow him down, snowboarding, rock climbing, scuba diving and marching the 26.2 mile Bataan Memorial Death March. Matt is a recipient of a Purple Heart as well as a Combat Infantryman Badge, Afghan Ribbon and Iraq Ribbon.