By Richard Rhinehart
Arlington, Virginia, April 11, 2013 – Iraq War veteran and a star of the 2012 theatrical film “Battleship,” Army COL Gregory Gadson is returning to World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America ride this month as keynote speaker for the non-profit’s April 26 commemorative dinner in Arlington.
The Chesapeake, Virginia native is a former participant of the Face of America ride, having ridden the 110-mile, two-day ride with a hand cycle. His participation in the non-profit’s Washington to Gettysburg bicycle ride was only two years after a May 7, 2007 attack in Baghdad cost him both legs above the knees and limited the use of his right hand and arm.
At the 2009 Face of America, COL Gadson rode with 21 disabled veterans, 107 active and retired military and 167 civilians using a new pair of prosthetic legs. “This is my first long bike tour,” COL Gadson told writer Bob Vogel, “I have a good team with me, and the ride is going well. Without the folks who are riding with me, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am. It’s a team effort, not a race, and it’s great fellowship.”
COL Gadson will ride as an honored guest in the 2013 Face of America ride, joining more than 100 disabled veterans from the United States and Canada. This year’s ride includes more than 400 active duty and retired military, as well as civilian riders from across the country.
“COL Gadson is the embodiment of what World T.E.A.M. Sports is all about,” said the organization’s Chief Operations Officer, Van Brinson. “His refusal to let what some would see as an insurmountable obstacle slow him down has turned him into a role model and an inspiration for those going through similar circumstances. COL Gadson is a motivation to each and every one of us, and we at World T.E.A.M. Sports consider ourselves fortunate to have him as an ally.”
A West Point graduate, COL Gadson played football in high school and at the U.S. Military Academy. In 2007 the National Football League’s New York Giants contacted COL Gadson to meet and talk with the team. Inspired by his courage, determination and positive attitude, the team began a playoff run that led to a Super Bowl Championship against the New England Patriots. At the National Football Conference Championship Game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, COL Gadson served as honorary co-captain for the Giants.
In 2012, COL Gadson appeared as Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, a disillusioned Army veteran who confronts alien invaders in Universal Pictures’ science fiction theatrical movie, “Battleship.” The $302 million-grossing film was his first acting role.
Richard Rhinehart serves as Director of Communications for World T.E.A.M. Sports.