School closings & delays

Marine wounded in Afghanistan finds new light in inspiring veterans

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After losing part of his leg to a roadside bomb while deployed in Afghanistan, Eric McElvenny is now giving his life to help others succeed.

At the time of the attack, he wasn’t sure what his life would look like. After seeing his family and friends come together around him and continue to stay positive, he knew he needed to use his own struggles to inspire others.

“We all face obstacles and adversity,” said McElvenny. “Who we are in those challenges really defines our character. I talk about character and I want people to look at challenge through a different lens in a positive way.

“I want people walking out of here looking at their situation and their life in a positive way. Whatever unique situation or circumstance they are in, I want them to put their best foot forward and make the most of it.”

The drive brought on by his support group got him through rehab and propelled him to compete and finish an Ironman competition. He was able to cross the line 22 months from when he was injured.

With all the amazing people he has met throughout the years of speaking, he is setting even more goals for himself. Along with continuing to share his story, he is trying out for the Paralympic team and race in other triathlons.

Ahead of Veteran’s Day, the Western District Court of Michigan brought together it’s 36 veteran employees to hear McElvenny’s story. He was the keynote speaker for Thursday’s third annual Veteran’s day event.

The celebration included a ceremonial cake cutting along with a short remark from Honorable James R. Redford of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

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