In 2001, Earl Granville’s twin brother asked him to drive him to the local Pennsylvania National Guard recruiting office. What Earl never dreamed is that he would also sign up for duty that very same day. And just a few days later the tragedy of 9-11 happened.
Earl and his brother Joe’s first deployment was Bosnia, part of Alpha Company 109th Infantry. Two years later Earl and Joe volunteered for a tour of duty in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this time, some of Earls comrades were killed in action
“It hit me hard, and I quickly learned that service to your country is not about me, it’s about us” Earl would later share.
To continue serving his country, and to honor the memory of his fallen friends, Earl volunteered to be deployed to a major hotspot, Afghanistan, joining Operation Enduring Freedom. A decision that would lead to Earl being seriously injured.
“We had been on a five-day mission. On the final day, we took a different route to the site where we were about to build this school. I remember seeing the first patch of green grass in months. The next thing I remember was seeing black. I could hear faint noises around me. I could see our vehicle was completely in pieces. I tried to stand but couldn’t. I looked down and my feet were almost completely backwards and full of blood.”
Earl would ultimately spend months in the hospital, need multiple operations to save his right leg, and his left leg was amputated. And a long and painful recovery ahead.
But Earl ultimately realized the best way he could honor the legacy of those who have fallen was to challenge himself physically in their honor, and dedicate himself to helping and inspiring other wounded and disabled veterans.
So Earl began rigorous training. And over time went from successfully running in 5K races, to running in marathons, including the New York and Boston Marathons. Not just a remarkable fete for himself, but ended up being a path to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone.
“I found a new purpose and passion, just like I found running, in helping my fellow veterans. Your life isn’t over once you get out of the military. You just have to refill those voids, and again, be part of something bigger than yourself.”
Earl started crisscrossing the country, giving motivating speeches as well as giving his time to help wounded and disabled veterans, and the organizations that support them.
Now Earl is taking on a new critical mission, a run for the United States Congress. Like so many other Americans, Earl is disheartened by the divisive nature of Washington, led by career politicians who put partisan attacks ahead of purpose, the next election ahead of the next generation, and gridlock and mean-spirited taxpayer-funded investigations ahead of moving our country forward.
“I learned firsthand in the Army, serving your country means putting the needs of others before your own. And that’s exactly what I will strive for each and every day as your Congressman.”