A Quickie Life Story: Cpl. Kevin Stone, U.S. Army, Ret.
On June 14, 2016 the United States Army celebrates its 241st birthday. Our country has had many brave men and women serve in the U.S. Army. In honor of the U.S. Army’s birthday I asked retired U.S. Army Corporal Kevin J. Stone to share his Quickie Life Story.
While on active duty Kevin was a passenger in a motor vehicle accident in which the vehicle dropped over 140 feet off the side of a mountain after the soldier who was driving failed to negotiate a turn. Kevin sustained an incomplete spinal injury in his cervical spine resulting in quadriplegia. Kevin was a dedicated athlete prior to his injury, so after he retired from the Army he sought out other sports as an outlet. Kevin became a very successful archer, competing in both the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics. In fact, Kevin won the United States its first medal in archery at the 2004 games in Athens.
After the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Kevin became an adaptive sports coach for the U.S. Paralympic Committee’s Military Program. He truly enjoyed the opportunity to be able to train his military brothers and sisters. Even though not everyone can become a Paralympian, he did his best to light “the flame within” at every clinic and camp.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy writing music and playing open mic nights. In addition I love to spend time photographing the wildlife and majestic scenery of my Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains.
Who would you most like to see in concert?
I've seen over 300 artists in concert, but the one I've never been able to see due to other commitments is Sir Paul McCartney.
What accomplishment are you the most proud of?
Other than winning a historic first Team USA medal in Archery during the 2004 Athens Summer Paralympics, taking on Capitol Hill with AMVETS and Paws With A Cause. With my service dog, Mambo, by my side I helped to introduce a healthcare bill that eventually led to creating the law that would change both the federal health code and the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide universal rights and access for all veterans that have the need for service animals. To have Mambo become one of the first actual "live" prosthetics listed in the VA system was an accomplishment I never thought would happen. When you can fight the "right fight", it's amazing how you can really unite both parties to put all differences aside and change the lives of our wounded military veterans.
If you could have dinner with a celebrity, who would it be and where would you go?
Prince Harry of Wales. His love and understanding of the power of sports rehab has been an inspiration worldwide. Hanging out with him and all the military athletes at the 2016 Rio Paralympics would be awesome! Although a concert night at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo Cantina with Scarlett Johansson would be equally awesome!
What is your dream vacation?
I would love to revisit Prague in the Czech Republic. I was a guest of the U.S. Embassy and the Czech Paralympic Committee years ago. During that trip I spent most of my time training and competing with a Paralympic team way out in Nove Mesto and Metuji. Unfortunately, I only had a short afternoon in Prague at the Embassy and out on the town. It's the most beautiful city I've ever seen, and I've always wanted to go back for an extended stay.
How did you meet your best friend?
I met my best friend, Lindsey, while training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. She was an amazing female archer who was just slightly older than my daughter. I kind of watched over her as a surrogate big brother or parent during our training, travels, and competitions. During the Athens Games she set records, but I took home a medal. We pledged to only make the run for Beijing if we both did it together. This time she took home the medal and I set a couple of records. Couldn't have done it without her.
Who inspires you?
Our wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines inspire me.
What does living life without limits mean to you?
The only limitations I will ever have are the ones I will place upon myself. You can't limit yourself without giving up your ability to "live" your life the way you want to. We, the disabled community, realize there are just some things that we cannot do physically, but thanks to the growing technology in the prosthetics sector, new opportunities are opening up all the time.
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Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are intended to be utilized as a general resource for clinicians and suppliers to then use clinical reasoning skills to determine optimal seating and mobility solutions for individual clients. Steve and Angie are unable to answer questions from members of the general public including caregivers and end users. Members of the general public should direct specific questions to their own clinicians, medical, suppliers, or other health care professionals.
Posted by: Date: 6/14/2016 8:00:45 AM
Filed under: angie