The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program, nicknamed AW2, has appointed Lt. Col. Gregory D. Gadson as its new director. He replaces Col. James S. Rice, who spent three years at the post. Brig. Gen. Gary H. Cheek, commanding general for the Warrior Transition Command, which AW2 falls under, advocated for Gadson’s appointment.
“The Army Wounded Warrior Program brings home…one of their own,” Cheek was quoted as saying in an Army News Service article. “What a great message that sends…. It tells our wounded warriors that ‘if it’s possible for him, it’s possible for me.'”
A West Point graduate, Gadson lost both of his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007. Despite nearly losing his life, he recovered with assistance from AW2 and went on to complete two graduate degrees.
“I think having been wounded and having grown up in the AW2 program, it’s given me a certain lens that not many have had…,” Gadson said. “I have that patient perspective, and hopefully I can communicate those experiences to make the organization better.”
Gadson made a splash in national media in 2008, when the New York Giants adopted him as a good-luck charm and source of inspiration. The Giants broke their losing streak and went to the Super Bowl that year. Gadson was also the first person to receive the latest version of Ossur’s bionic POWER KNEE™.
Gadson said he is honored and humbled to be selected as direction of AW2, yet maintains that he plays a small part in a bigger picture.
“This is not about me; this is an opportunity to continue to serve those who have made huge sacrifices for our nation, and we owe that to them,” Gadson said.