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The Faith to Stand Tall

Thousands of our returning soldiers face incredible adversity. Meet one who found a way to grow strong in it.

By Colonel Greg Gadson, Fort Belvoir, Virginia

As appeared in

Mike brought me to a conference room, where the team had gathered. There was nothing I could tell them about the game that they didn’t already know.

But I could talk about my life, about not quitting on yourself or on your faith, about not giving up when giving up seems like the only option, the things I had come to know these past number of months.

I stood up in front of them, on my new prostheses, and began to talk. To me, it wasn’t particularly memorable or inspiring. The players applauded at the finish, but I felt it was mostly out of politeness.

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I didn’t think any more of it, even the next day, when the Giants went out and whipped the ’Skins. Even when they won their next five straight and made it to the playoffs.

But when they won the Super Bowl and Mike told me how much my talk had meant to some of the players, it really hit home: My story can help and inspire others.

I enrolled in grad school and earned a second master’s degrees—the first one was in information systems, the second in policy management. I acted in the movie Battleship. And I returned to active duty in the Army, where I am currently the garrison commander at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

There’s no quit in this soldier. That is one of the greatest lessons war taught me, a lesson I see time and again among the thousands of our brave returning soldiers who face adversity and find the faith to grow strong in it.


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