Giants get inspirational lift from vet

Greg Gadson lost his legs in Iraq
January 31, 2008 3:23:21 PM PST
As we all know, the Giants had a really rough start to this season.Now, we are going to introduce you to a man who helped turn this team around. He is a man who has nothing to do with making tackles or scoring touchdowns.

Lieutenant Colonial Greg Gadson is an Iraq war veteran, who has taught this team all about courage and a fighting spirit.

Eyewitness News anchor Liz Cho has the story.

Eight months ago, Gadson's life was turned upside down. In May, while serving in Iraq, he lost both his legs and nearly an arm when a roadside bomb shattered the vehicle he was riding in.

"I just asked God, I said, 'I don't want to die here. I don't want to die in this country,'" Gadson said.

Gadson survived and was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It was there that his old West Point teammate Mike Sullivan, an assistant coach with the Giants, reached out to him. Gadson says that was the start of his surreal journey.

Gadson was asked to speak to the Giants before their game against the Washington Redskins. He spoke from the heart and, in turn, touched their hearts.

"My message to the Giants was they were 0-2 and not focus on the 0-2, because there was nothing they could do to change it," Gadson said. "But really, fighting to do their best, and fighting for each other."

That marked the turning point for the team that went on to win the next 10 games on the road, due in part to Gadson's inspiration.

He is now an honorary co-captain and an adopted teammate.

"He's added a great deal of inspiration to all of us, because of the quality of the man, first of all, and because of what he has sacrificed and given up so that all of us can sleep under the blanket of freedom," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "There is a guy who's a real hero."

Gadson will be on the sidelines this Sunday. Coughlin said he may ask Gadson to speak to the team before the game.