Double amputee takes command of Fort Belvoir

From www.Army.Mil, By J.D. Leipold, June 27, 2012 –

WASHINGTON (Amy News Service, June 26, 2012) — For the first time in the Army’s history, a double amputee has taken the reins as garrison commander of a major installation.

Col. Gregory D. Gadson assumed command June 25, 2012, of Fort Belvoir, Va., an 47,000-strong garrison currently in its 100th year of service.

Gadson, a 1989 West Point grad and member of the football team was returning from a memorial service in Baghdad for two Soldiers from his brigade on May 7, 2007, when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. He lost both legs above the knee and suffered a severe injury to his right arm.

He became one of the first Soldiers fitted with a next-generation powered prosthetic knee. It allows amputees to walk with a more natural gait. Rather than taking a medical retirement, Gadson requested to stay on active duty.

As of June 1, about 1,000 Soldiers in the Army Wounded Warrior program, or AW2, of 11,117 Soldiers and veterans have amputation injuries. Sixty-nine amputees have returned to active duty in the current conflict under the Continue on Active Duty, or COAD program. Eight more have returned to serve with the Army National Guard.

Gadson returned to active duty to serve almost two years as director of the AW2 program before being selected to command Fort Belvoir. On Monday he was presented the Belvoir command colors by Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, commander, Army Installation Management Command, on Long Parade Field across from post headquarters.

“He has shown that it isn’t about what you cannot do, it’s about what you can do,” Ferriter said of Gadson. “He’s able to lead and get right to things that need to happen.”

Gadson’s role as the director of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program enabled him to do a lot of good, Ferriter added.

“He was able to reassure personally those newly wounded who are looking down a long road to recovery and to motivate Soldiers and civilians alike,” he said. “So today we know Greg brings his relentless, positive attitude, his compassion, drive and commitment to serve every day.

Gadson kept his remarks short, thanking his family, the Army medical team he credited with saving his life, and Army leadership for “giving me this opportunity to continue to serve … not only to serve, but to lead.

“This morning I stand before you thrilled and privileged to be part of the Fort Belvoir community, but at the same time I’m very humbled to be reminded of all those who helped me through to this point in my career,” he said. “Whatever I’ve done to reach this point in my career is more testament to the Soldiers, leaders and employees for which I serve and certainly the patience and support of my family.”

Related Links

Click here in case you missed Col. Gadson’s acting debut in Battleship.

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One response

  1. I wonder if Col. Gadson reflects on why he lost two men from his brigade as well as both of his legs and severely injured his arm?

    George W. Bush started the Iraq debacle (not to mention Afghanistan and a dozen other brush wars around the globe) in 2003 after lying to the nation about the CIA-installed Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). (Rather than regurgitate former LA felony prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s research in his book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” published in 2008, just buy the book and spend a bit less time watching Neo-Con TV on FAUX News. Bugliosi had a 100% felony conviction rate.)

    Since Saddam had no WMD’s and Iraq was not poised to invade or otherwise attack the U.S., why did Col. Gadson’s men give their lives and why did Col. Gadson sacrifice his body?

    Oh…”the President says go and military men don’t question their orders”?

    Well, maybe they should start asking questions.

    Heck, their current commander-in-chief isn’t even qualified to be sitting in the Oval Office. Barack Hussein Obama is a dual citizen of Britain and the U.S. since his father was a citizen of Kenya, a British Protectorate, at the time of his birth which automatically conferred British citizenship to him according to then-British law.

    The U.S. Supreme Court itself has defined the constitutionally-mandated “natural born citizen” requirement for the Presidency as the child of “parents” who are its (America’s) citizens.

    Does Col. Gadson question the qualifications of his unqualified Commander-in-Chief?

    How does Col. Gadson feel about Iraq going up in flames right now after George W. Bush’s failed attempt at “nation-building” which he specifically criticized when he was campaigning for the Presidency?

    Many will pity Col. Gadson for his missing legs and other physical handicaps.

    I pity Col. Gadson for continuing to volunteer to be plugged into the information-controlled matrix of lies spun by the U.S. Government and its lapdog media that has killed thousands of our young men and women and crippled tens of thousands more physically and mentally…not to mention a million-plus Muslims worldwide.

    I pity Col. Gadson for his mental and moral handicaps.

    “I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force–the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service.”
    – Major General Smedley D. Butler (1881-1940), double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and author of “War is a Racket”

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