Parade held for Paralympic silver medalist Heath Calhoun - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Parade held for Paralympic silver medalist Heath Calhoun

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A soldier with a Purple Heart is now the recipient of a silver medal. A parade of more than a hundred motorcycles went from Clarksville's Outlaw Field to Appleton Harley-Davidson Saturday for Paralympic silver medalist Heath Calhoun. It was a big welcome home from Sochi.

"It definitely gives you goosebumps, just hearing the roar of all those bikes and seeing all the support and love that he's receiving from all these people," said friend of Calhoun, Jenna Lee.

"I pull up and see hundreds of bikes," said Calhoun. "It's just a humbling experience. It really is."

Ready to join a parade through the city, one van was packed with kids calling themselves 'Team Calhoun'. Lee said she wants sons Jackson and Jason to know Calhoun's story and the way he's spent his life representing his country.

"This is a role model not just for my children but myself," said Lee.

While serving with Fort Campbell in Iraq in 2003, Calhoun's Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, leading to the amputation of both of his legs.

"I started training for the Paralympics not long after I lost my legs," said Calhoun. "It was really something I used for rehabilitation, and I loved it. I've been in a wheelchair. It was something that got me out. It made me feel free again."

That drive led Calhoun to the Paralympic Games in Sochi, where he just won the silver in the Men's Sitting Super-Combined.

"To be able to go to Sochi and be able to compete gave me closure after being a soldier and losing my legs," said Calhoun. "To be able to serve my country and come home with a medal was huge for me."

"The hand that he was dealt in life, he could've chosen a different path totally," said Lee. "He chose to take the bumpy road, and he came out a hero in more ways than one. We're all just so proud of him. It's just such an inspiration, his whole story."

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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