In honor of Veterans Day, the Amputee Coalition thanks all our Veterans for their work to protect our country. The Amputee Coalition highlights a veteran, Colonel (Retired) Greg Gadson, in its November/December 2021 edition of inMotion magazine. The following is an adapted version of the full magazine article.
On May 7, 2007, Colonel Gadson was commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery. On his way from a memorial service with two young men from his bigrade, his four-vehicle patrol was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). That night he went through 129 units of blood and cardiac arrested five or six times. “By the grace of God, I’m here and I survived,” he says. The IED explosion ultimately cost him his legs above the knees and complete function of his right arm and hand.
After completing his education at West Point in 1989, Gadson was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Field Artillery. He has served in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait, Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his 26 years of service, Colonel Gadson earned numerous medals and awards. When asked if any of the medals have a special meaning to him, he states, “I think they represent my service, hopefully, not that it was perfect, but I did my best.”
When asked what motivates him to keep going, he responded, “At the end of the day our limbs are gone, and does it really matter how it happened? To me the answer is no, it’s gone, and so what are you doing with your life afterward. When you have this kind of loss, you appreciate things differently. When I think about those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, that’s what inspires me to keep going. I have to live my life because they couldn’t. …There might be something for you to learn, a chance for you to grow. There might be a silver lining if you fight through it. That’s why I can’t quit. That’s why I have to live and try to be the best that I can be.”
After retiring from his military service in 2014, Colonel Gadson has become a motivational speaker and a passionate advocate for wounded warriors, veterans, and those with disabilities. On several occasions, he has testified before Congress on issues related to these groups. He also established himself as an actor acting in several movies and appearing in many TV shows. He continues to support the military community through the company he started, Patriot Strategies LLC, a service-based government contracting company that supports its customers in building, maintaining, and achieving complete and cost-effective solutions to new and existing programs.
The Amputee Coalition would like to thank Colonel Gadson and all our Veterans for their service and sacrifice to our country. Read the full version of this article in the November/December 2021 issue of inMotion coming soon to your mailbox.