Earl Granville, a 9-year veteran with the Army National Guard, lost his left leg to a roadside bomb while fighting in Afghanistan in 2008. Granville recovered from his injuries and began running marathons with a prosthetic leg. He’s been running or biking in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and New York.
This week he participated in the Boston Marathon. He didn’t set any records, but how he finished the race made headlines. With his partner on one shoulder and the United States flag on the other, Granville crossed the finish line to honor his fallen comrades and family while setting an example for other wounded warriors. The woman he carried is his friend, guide, and partner. He carried her across the finish line as a symbolic gesture to carry the weight for all of the fallen who can carry on no more.
Like most veterans, Granville is incredibly humble. While running a Marathon in New York earlier this week, bystandards would run up to offer him hugs and give their thanks. “I don’t know what they’re inspired about,” he said in a Facebook live video near his 16th mile. “I’m walking.”
Granville has seen his fair share of despair, but he fought to recover. Now he works to better himself and set a positive example for the rest of the world. “After I lost my leg and my twin brother, Army SSG Joe Granville, to suicide, I felt very lost and confused. I found myself making horrible decisions and living a very unhealthy life filled with alcohol and some drugs,” he wrote in an a Warrior’s Voice article on American Grit. “One day I was approached by someone who knew my brother who stated that Joe would express how he was so proud of how I continued to live a happy and active life after my injury. I reflected a bit and thought to myself, ‘Well, would he be proud of the decisions I’m making now?'”
Since that day Granville has dedicated himself to overcoming doubt in himself and his abilities after such a terrible injury.
With the hlep of Operation Enduring Warrior, Granville discovered a new passion, assisting other wounded veterans who have suffered a similar loss.
Watch his incredible finish in the video below.
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