As much as 15 percent of the U.S. Paralympic team will be drawn from the 31,000 men and women disabled by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Out of the carnage of roadside bomb blasts in Iraq, U.S. Paralympics recruiters are finding new competitors for world-class sports in Beijing and beyond. Foremost among those heading to China this summer: Army 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell. She made her first mark on history four years ago when she became the war’s first female combat amputee. Now she has etched a new distinction as the first disabled Iraq war veteran to qualify for this summer’s Games in China.