Heath Calhoun carries the USA flag

Heath Calhoun

"If they can make a prosthetic tail stay on a dolphin, in the water, then I want them in my corner making my prosthetics.”

Staff Sgt. Heath Calhoun earned respect for the U.S. military at a young age. His father served in Vietnam and his grandfather in World War II. In 1999, Heath decided to carry on their dedication to the military and service to the country by enlisting in the U.S. Army. He completed his Airborne Ranger and infantry training in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was deployed to Iraq where he was assigned as a Squad Leader for the famed 101st Airborne Division.

It was there, in 2003, that his convoy was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. "I was at the rear corner of the Humvee when the grenade hit the tail light right beside my right leg," he said. "I was lying on my side. I could see my legs were really messed up." Heath yelled to the driver of the vehicle to call the incident in to headquarters. "I laid my head back down and that's all I remember."

The injuries he sustained ultimately resulted in the loss of both legs above the knees. Another soldier was killed in the attack. Heath wears a bracelet etched with the soldier's name and date of the attack on his right wrist in honor of his service.

Heath has met Winter and even had the opportunity to be in the pool with her. He was also featured on NBC Nightly News with Winter. Heath was the first non-medical person to swim with Winter.

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