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Special Olympics athlete, Army veteran focus of upcoming ESPN feature

Producers preview profile of Ken Melvin, debuting on SportsCenter:AM as part of ESPN's Veterans Week coverage

In celebration of Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary, ESPN has partnered with the organization to tell 50 stories of game changers or game-changing events in the inclusion revolution.

The next feature, debuting during SportsCenter:AM (7-10 ET) on Wednesday, Nov. 7, will tell the story of Ken Melvin.

“The story of Ken Melvin is so inspiring. Not only is Ken a Special Olympics athlete, he is also a veteran and we are honored to tell his story during ESPN’s Veterans Week,” said coordinating producer Kate Jackson.

“I love giving a platform to unknown, unsung heroes,” said producer Hillary Horgan. “On the surface, Ken seems like your regular, average Midwestern man. He lives in a small town in Indiana and he is a truck driver. But the first time I spoke with him on the phone, I knew he was someone worthy of an audience.”

“The story of Ken Melvin [pictured above] is so inspiring,” said ESPN CP Kate Jackson.

Melvin never let his disabilities get in the way of his passion to compete and his desire to serve his country.

“He was deployed to Afghanistan and put into many dangerous situations that took a lot of guts and bravery to overcome,” Horgan said. “The fact that he worked his tail off for months just to have the ability to put his life on the line for his country is the mark of a true hero in my book.”

Despite the challenges that always come with telling a story that began 50 years ago, Horgan felt that Melvin’s story was an extremely important one to tell.

“Shedding light on the stories of veterans is so important because it reminds us all as Americans about what it means to sacrifice for your country,” Horgan said.

Watch an excerpt from the feature in the video above.

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– Molly Mita