A native of Cedar City, Utah, U.S. Army Sergeant Matthew Melancon joined the Army at 18 years old with the dream of making the world a better place while also serving his country. While on his second deployment to the Middle East, Matt’s truck was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). While there were no casualties from the attack, Matt was injured severely enough to be immediately evacuated out of the country. For the next two years, he underwent two dozen intense reconstructive surgeries to save his legs, his career and his freedom of motion.
In July 2013, Matt developed a life-threatening MRSA infection in his left leg, resulting in amputation. This left Matt devastated and defeated. It was the event that pushed him into the world of recreational therapy, forcing him out of his “comfort zone” and demanding more of his broken mind and body than he ever expected. A year later, after being surrounded by positivity and support while sporting the latest in prosthetic technology, he had his second leg amputated.
The community of snowboarding captured his heart and attention, becoming the greatest source of hope and courage for him to belong and grow. He competed all over the world and, despite not qualifying for the 2018 snowboard team, Matt continues to train and push the bounds of sports prosthetics.
Now an athlete and motivational speaker, Matt believes in the power of attitude and perspective. He blends the doctrines that kept him alive on the cutting edge of battle with the values and lessons taught by legacy civilian amputees who galvanized his belief in the human spirit.