U.S. Paralympics Alp... News Following His Milita...

Following His Military Career, Kyle Moxley Found Another Way To Serve His Country

By Stephen Kerr | April 19, 2023, 3:59 p.m. (ET)

Kyle Moxley competes at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: Luc Percival)

Aside from playing a year of soccer when he was 12, Martin Kyle Moxley didn’t participate in many competitive sports as a kid.


His father worked with business magnate Sam Walton, helping to open new stores around the country. This required the family to move around every few years, making it difficult for Moxley to play organized sports or make friends.


“I read books and stuff,” recalled Moxley, who goes by his middle name, Kyle. “I had a few friends. We’d move away and I’d make a new set of friends. I probably caused a little too much trouble in the neighborhoods.”


The 42-year-old Moxley was born in Pasadena, Texas, a town in the Houston area, but spent much of his life in Alaska and several other states before moving to Colorado in 2014. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Colorado Technical University, and later went back to earn a master’s there.


Back in 1998, Moxley decided to enlist in the Army after graduating from high school.


“I didn’t really have a choice,” Moxley said. “I knew we didn’t have funds for college. I didn’t even have a driver’s license and there were no jobs around. I figured it would be enjoyable, might as well try it out.”


Moxley served in the beginning of the Iraq War as an E4 infantry specialist, the highest rank for junior recruits. He was on a routine patrol in 2004 when his squad was ambushed. During the attack, an improvised explosive device went off, blowing up the vehicle Moxley was riding in.


Shrapnel from the explosion tore Moxley’s shoulder, severing the nerves of his right arm. He was transported to the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Antonio, one of the few neurological centers during that period.


Doctors were able to perform limb-salvage surgery and saved his arm from being amputated, but it caused other problems.


“I had no feeling below the knee,” Moxley said. “My ankle doesn’t really work; it’s pretty much inoperable. I have to wear a brace that keeps it from dropping and me tripping.”


Moxley began to set challenges for himself, starting with getting movement back in his right arm. The next year, he went back to school, earning his master’s degree.


“I dealt with my PTSD by being a special education instructor,” Moxley said. “That really challenged me. I think that was perfect.”


It was through the VA center in Grand Junction, Colorado, that Moxley first found out about alpine skiing. One day in 2015, he saw a poster on the wall for the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado, an annual event that provides training to veterans in adaptive sports and activities.


While he was a bit tentative at first, it didn’t take Moxley long to catch on to skiing.


“I quickly outskied the instructors,” he said with a chuckle.


After the clinic, Moxley went to Telluride, Colorado, for another military event, then became involved with the National Sports Center for the Disabled. He began learning the fundamentals of ski racing, and continues to train with NSCD, which offers recreation and competitive programs for people with disabilities.


While attending the winter sports clinic, Moxley was introduced to Paralympic alpine skier Ralph Green, who competed in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. Green and several other athletes encouraged Moxley to work toward becoming a Paralympian.


“I could do something for my country, represent the U.S. even though I can’t do it in the military anymore,” Moxley said. “I can do it on the snow, at least.”


Last summer, Moxley was selected to train with the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Development Team. The experience has allowed him to become acquainted with Thomas Walsh, Jesse Keefe, Patrick Halgren and other top Para alpine skiers.


“I see the positives in everybody,” Moxley said. “I find one thing about everybody I can feed off of. Pat Halgren has a great attitude. Thomas Walsh has a great skiing style. Jesse’s got the youth, spunk and determination. I take a little bit from everybody and wrap it up into one thing.”


Moxley’s goal is to make the national team in time for the Paralympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026. He’s committed to spend as much time as he can on snow, working on fundamentals. This summer he’s planning a serious offseason training regimen to build up strength.


Away from the slopes, Moxley enjoys mountain biking, cycling, paddle boarding and other outdoor activities. He spends as much time as he can with his new service dog, Scottie, and his fiancé, Jessica, whom he met at the winter sports clinic. The two plan to get married next January.


Skiing allows Moxley to clear his mind of all negative thinking and concentrate on the mission of each race.


“It gives me something to think about, just the snow, being outside,” he said. “Every day I’m on snow, I want to be the best person I can be for Team USA and represent my country the best way possible.”

Stephen Kerr

Stephen Kerr is a freelance journalist and newsletter publisher based in Austin, Texas. He is a contributor to USParaAlpineSkiing.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. You can follow him on Twitter @smkwriter1.