“There is no greater or higher calling than helping our wounded Soldiers heal and transition successfully back to the fighting force or to the community.”
– Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho | U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commander U.S. Army Medical Command
A 24-year career Army officer, Col. Greg Gadson’s life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity.
Join us for a discussion with Gadson on the U.S. Army Facebook page on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. ET.
Here are five things about Gadson that will motivate you to save the date and join the chat:
- Gadson was the first service member to use a next-generation powered prosthetic. On the night of May 7, 2007, while returning from a memorial service for two Soldiers from his brigade, Gadson lost both his legs and severely injured his right arm, to a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He became one of the first military personnel to use a next-generation powered prosthetic knee with technology to make it possible for amputees to walk with confidence and with a more natural gait.
- He performed his own stunts in the movie Battleship. Gadson is not only the U.S. Army’s first double amputee to take over as commander of a major installation, he’s also one of the actors in Battleship – a recent aliens-are-coming-to-destroy-the-earth movie. In the movie, Gadson starred as Mike Canales, a legless, wounded Army Veteran who helped save the world from the aliens. Amazingly, Gadson performed his own stunts, strapped into a dolly configured specially for him.
- He is a combat Veteran. Gadson’s Army career would ultimately see him serving in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Kuwait), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), where he commanded a new unit as part of the surge to secure Baghdad in 2007.
- He has strong ties to football. Gadson played at West Point between 1985 and 1988. One of his teammates was Mike Sullivan who was became an assistant coach with the Giants. When Sullivan and so many other of Gadson’s teammates found out what had happened on the night of May 7, that Gadson had first lost his left leg to arterial infections and then his right, it brought that old Army team back together. Sullivan invited Gadson to give a motivational speech to the New York Giants. That pep talk helped propel them into a ten game winning streak and winning Super Bowl. Gadson gave the team a motivational speech the following year again inspiring them to a second Super Bowl win.
- He serves as an inspiration to other Wounded Warriors. Visiting seriously wounded, ill and injured soldiers in military hospital recovery and rehabilitation facilities is important to Gadson. His memories of his own difficult and tedious rehabilitation serves as a reminder of the long path forward other Soldiers must travel. “I’m mindful of providing courses of action to these Soldiers. I let them ask the questions,” he said. “I tell them don’t live your life the way I do, we all have our own set of challenges. My enduring message is to be grateful for what you have.”
In the comments section below, tell us what questions you would ask Gadson during his Facebook chat.