Boyd Melson Is Championing America
It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Boyd Melson and his compassionate heart that he has chosen to run for Congress and represent District 11 in New York City. Melson has helped champion America in the political arena for years.
Boyd Melson’s father Nolan is African-American. His mother Annette is Israeli. Melson graduated in 2003 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an Army captain who has fought for both his country and a cure for spinal cord injury. A gold medalist at the 48th World Military Boxing Championship and the 2001 Intercollegiate National Champ, Melson was also an alternate for the 2008 Olympic team, a World Boxing Council (WBC) light middleweight US champion, and is in the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Melson’s life changed after a chance meeting with Christan Zaccagnino, a woman bound to a wheelchair. Her love would inspire him to fight for a cure. In November 2010, Melson stepped into the boxing ring as a pro fighter. He donated all proceeds toward clinical trials aimed at treating chronic spinal cord injuries with the intent of helping Zaccagnino walk again. That relationship inspired a lifetime of public service.
Boyd Melson has helped raise $400,000 for spinal cord research from his boxing purses and charity galas. He says, “It was based on a promise I had made to Christan when we were a couple. She broke her neck in a diving accident when she was ten years old. I told her that I would never give up trying to help her walk for the rest of my life…I meant that.”
This desire to serve humanity has led other sports professionals to believe that Boyd Melson’s strength and gentle nature make him the type of man we should have in our corner, representing us in Congress.
The two-time world champion boxer and 2008 US Olympian Demetrius Andrade said, “He’s a stand-up guy — a great supporter and a good human being. I’ve known him since I was fourteen. We have traveled the world together and became brothers. Boyd’s…going to look after the people who need caring for with an open heart…I can’t think of a better person for this job. I fight for family; Boyd Melson fights for people who can’t walk. That says a lot about his character.”
Good character is something we should want in a candidate for Congress. Lee Rouson, former professional NFL running back for the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, said, “[Melson] is intense… I met him at a charity fundraiser. He’s a passionate and compassionate individual…I really respond to the sense of integrity that he possesses…I think he’d do a great job in any role he chooses to fulfill.”
Herb Williams, a former player for the NBA’s New York Knicks who has also served as their interim head coach, also speaks fondly of Boyd Melson. “Boyd is the kind of person that would put his life on the line in the ring and not take a dime for it. That’s unheard of in boxing. He will fight for what is important and…get things done. We need someone like that in Congress. Boyd’s not the kind of person that will take no for an answer. He is the kind of person that will hear you say ‘it can’t work’ and show you the solution. He wouldn’t use a seat in Congress to try gain things for himself. He works for the people. He’s honest and a good man, and he’d be great for his district.”
Boyd Melson says, “I believe in leading by example. I believe in sacrificing for others. I live by that. It’s who I am and how I was raised…I’m on the advisory board of Team Fight to Walk, and that raises awareness and funding for clinical trials to help people with spinal cord injuries walk again. That is why I started boxing professionally — because I wanted to raise money and awareness for that. I hoped that if I donated all that I made from fighting, it would inspire others to donate to this important cause.”
Melson works to help soldiers as well. Melson says, “I’m on the advisory board for Stop Soldier Suicide. We want to provide a reverse boot camp, giving every soldier who leaves the military a free psych eval and access to mental health treatment for PTSD and other issues at no cost. Next year, a pilot program…in this country [will] help soldiers rehabilitate. We have veterans with master’s degrees in social work helping them — veteran to veteran. The government spends all this money turning people into fighters, but [doesn’t] always do so well with [helping them transition to civilian life]. This program wants to assist with that.”
Helping the military and supporting veterans is very important to Melson. He has several friends, West Point classmates, and relatives affected by PTSD and other combat-related health issues. He believes PTSD can potentially affect every soldier and that restoring them so they can live the best possible lives is essential. He believes our country has a duty not to abandon the heroes who put their lives and sanity on the line to preserve our freedom.
“There are so many homeless veterans in New York City. It breaks my heart,” Melson says. “I’d love to see a one-stop shop to help vets get home loans, education, and vocational rehab to help them find jobs outside of the military as well…a program that would guide them through finding everything they will need as they leave the military.”
Melson goes beyond championing the disabled, soldiers, and veterans. He works to help children and adults from all walks of life, putting his ideals and commitments into community action that leads to positive change. “I work with Boxer Inc. NYC, a mentorship program using boxing to teach discipline, exercise, and give guidance to kids in tough schools,” Melson says.
Boyd Melson is on the board of Summit Charter School and Academy in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to help underprivileged children increase their chances of a promising future through education. Melson came out of retirement to fight and donate his earnings to Big Vision Foundation, an organization helping young adults fight drug dependence in New York. He also hosts a free weekly boxing clinic designed to help people knock out addiction. He’s a member of the Great Black Speakers Bureau and was a mentor at the Steve Harvey Youth Mentorship Camp for boys 11–18 who don’t have fathers. He’s spent over seven years speaking at tough schools in Brooklyn and schools in Staten Island and New Jersey, because he wants to help youth in the area where he grew up.
These activities are just a fraction of what Boyd Melson has done. He has a lifetime of dedication to serving the greater good, a genuine desire to help others, and an intrinsic belief in America and its people. Such qualities make him the ideal candidate to represent District 11 in New York City.