Double amputee Iraq veteran gets wish to swim with dolphins - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Double amputee Iraq veteran gets wish to swim with dolphins

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

After losing both legs while serving in Iraq, an Army veteran is working to reclaim her life. One of her goals was to swim with dolphins.  Little did Marissa Stock know that her dream would come true this week in Gulfport. 

The former military police officer spent six years overseas working with Iraqi police and the Iraqi Army. Her visit to the coast was to take in some well deserved rest and relaxation.

"I've never been to Mississippi before. So we were going to spend the week going to the car show and maybe doing a little gambling, so that's why we're here. Then I heard dolphins, and swimming with dolphins, and that definitely piqued my interest," Strock said.

That interest led to an extensive web search and many phone calls, including one to Institute for Marine Mammal Studies Director Moby Solangi.

"We told her that it was an honor and a privilege to have a veteran and a hero to come in and fulfill their dream," Solangi said.

Strock had always wanted to swim with dolphins, but never really pursued the dream because she worried it wasn't possible.

"Because with the prosthetics, I didn't know if it would scare the dolphins. And then we got the call that I was going to get to go do it," Strock said. "This isn't something everyone gets to experience and I'm definitely grateful for being able to experience this."

Finally, the time came, and Strock got to meet her swimming buddy, Buster, who weighed in at 450 pounds.

"Swimming with the dolphin today was way more fun than swimming by myself," Strock said. "I've learned different things about their skin and just dolphins in general. That was definitely fun. I like science and I like animals."

The swim wasn't just a first for Marissa. She's also the first amputee to ever swim with dolphins at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Hundreds gather in Biloxi to remember military heroes

    Hundreds gather in Biloxi to remember military heroes

    Monday, May 29 2017 12:54 PM EDT2017-05-29 16:54:25 GMT
    The Memorial Day ceremony usually held on the grounds of the Biloxi National Cemetery was moved indoors because of the threat of rain Monday. (Photo source: WLOX)The Memorial Day ceremony usually held on the grounds of the Biloxi National Cemetery was moved indoors because of the threat of rain Monday. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A healthy chance of rain could not stop more than 200 people from gathering to honor America's war dead Monday in Biloxi. The Memorial Day ceremony, usually held on the grounds of the Biloxi National Cemetery, was moved indoors because of that threat. 

    More >>

    A healthy chance of rain could not stop more than 200 people from gathering to honor America's war dead Monday in Biloxi. The Memorial Day ceremony, usually held on the grounds of the Biloxi National Cemetery, was moved indoors because of that threat. 

    More >>
  • Gulfport remembers fallen heroes

    Gulfport remembers fallen heroes

    Monday, May 29 2017 10:02 AM EDT2017-05-29 14:02:52 GMT
    Military veterans gather at Barksdale Pavilion in Gulfport for a Memorial Day service (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)Military veterans gather at Barksdale Pavilion in Gulfport for a Memorial Day service (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

    Community leaders from around Gulfport gathered at Barksdale Pavilion to remember fallen war heroes. This year, the annual Memorial Day ceremony saluted Gold Star families. About 100 people participated in the VFW event.

    More >>

    Community leaders from around Gulfport gathered at Barksdale Pavilion to remember fallen war heroes. This year, the annual Memorial Day ceremony saluted Gold Star families. About 100 people participated in the VFW event.

    More >>
  • Mississippi State's NCAA regional destination revealed

    Mississippi State's NCAA regional destination revealed

    Monday, May 29 2017 12:52 PM EDT2017-05-29 16:52:11 GMT
    SOURCE: NCAA.comSOURCE: NCAA.com

    It was announced Monday morning that Southern Miss will be hosting Mississippi State, South Alabama, and UIC. 

    More >>

    It was announced Monday morning that Southern Miss will be hosting Mississippi State, South Alabama, and UIC. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly