Army Public Affairs Officer and retired pro boxer Boyd Melson announced his withdrawal from the New York District 11 Congressional election to serve the United States in the fight against ISIS in Operation Inherent Resolve.
Melson is currently serving in the Army Reserve in the rank of Major. Recently, a member of Melson’s Army Reserve unit scheduled for deployment in early 2018 received an opportunity for an assignment in an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) position.
The soldier wanted this assignment for a long period of time and it was an opportunity that would not be offered again if initially turned down. The soldier is married with children and the opportunity would be extremely beneficial to the soldier and her family. Melson, a Brooklyn resident, previously volunteered, without success, to serve abroad on three different deployments. He was adamant that this is his time to fight terrorism at its forefront.
“I am proud of many things that have taken place in my life and lives of those around me,” said Melson, a 2003 West Point graduate. “The most important to me without question is being a great American that stands behind his responsibilities as a member of the Army Reserve.”
Melson, who helped raise more than $400,000 for Spinal Cord Injury research by donating every penny earned in his boxing career and helping host multiple charity galas, has been chronicled by many high profile media outlets for his selflessness. However, the 36-year-old believes this next journey is his responsibility as an American.
“I have never deployed. Wholeheartedly, I believe that it is my ultimate duty to serve this great country in our fight against ISIS in the Middle East. For this reason, I have decided to withdraw from the 2018 District 11 Congressional election. While there’s no doubt in my mind I was the right man to lead Staten Island and South Brooklyn, America needs me overseas. I was doing well in my campaign run. I was singled out by the New York times as one of a handful of up and coming Democratic candidates for United States Congress. I was one of six candidates asked to speak out in front of the White House to address Russia’s cyber-interference with our elections. Then I received a phone call. A fellow soldier was scheduled to deploy. She asked me if I would switch with her because of various circumstances that would greatly benefit her family’s life to include her. I immediately said yes.”
“I thought to myself, I have never been deployed and I don’t want to look back on my life thinking how I had my chance to do my part fighting ISIS but shied away from it. That would have gone against everything I stand for. I believe in sacrificing myself to help others. This time, the sacrifice is not only to help combat the terror in the Middle East, but to also help out a fellow soldier. If I said no, I would have lied to myself about who I think I am and what I think I am about.”
I have spent a great amount of time over the years traveling to schools and speaking to students from pre-k through college. I always stated that you must make sure that your decisions are in alignment with your heart’s values. Me not being there when called upon would have meant I would have lied to these children all of these years. I finally am getting my chance to join my brothers and sisters in arms with this experience. Only my inner-circle knew about the other three deployments I tried to get on. I finally get to join all those throughout our nation’s history that have made this choice. I believe in my choice, albeit it will be costing me my chance at being elected into office. Serving my nation, the United States of America, in uniform while in harm’s way, to help fight.”