The Navy SEAL Code puts it so bluntly, “I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity.” And that mantra has reflected so well on Kevin Hillery, the 22-year from Massachusetts, who became the first paraplegic alumnus of the United States Naval Academy. Though he will no longer be able to become a SEAL, Hillary gloriously strides a ramp on a wheelchair to get this diploma, as his parents watched him with great pride.
“To see Kevin throw his cover in the air,” says Kevin’s father, “It will be the proudest moment of my life.”
It can be recalled that Kevin encountered a tragic accident on April 2011 while biking near the Shenandoah river, causing him to become paralyzed from the waist down. With the quick thinking of his midshipmen friends, Kevin was able to survive death, but not without leaving a mark that forced him to give up his SEAL dream.
Kevin’s friend, Colin Price, shares “I see him face down bleeding out of his mouth, not breathing.” Price, along with Kevin’s other midshipmen buddies, had to create a makeshift shelter using their bikes and rain gears for their injured friend. The group was participating in an extreme adventure race on a stormy weather when the accident took place.
Now that Kevin has graduated from the academy, he is entertaining the possibility of entering law school.