New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin received the U.S. Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award on Wednesday. He was one of five who received the honor. It’s the Army’s third highest honor for public service and it’s given to any private citizen who makes a “substantial contribution” to the military.
In government speak, that translates directly to, “it’s a pretty big freaking deal.” The New York Post reports Coughlin was humbled and almost moved to tears by the ceremony. The journey he took to reach that moment is a journey many have taken.
Celebrities have given their time to the troops for many years. As an Air Force veteran of 22 years, I’ve interacted with many celebrities in and out of war zones. They all say basically the same thing. Spending time with the troops changes them…forever.
Gene Simmons from KISS is another celebrity who has a history of supporting the troops and often visits wounded warriors. Simmons says he is always amazed by young men and women whose bodies are broken, but not their spirits. He also has trouble talking about the subject without tearing up.
It appears Tom Coughlin has also gotten “the bug.”
In 2007, Lt Col Greg Gadson became a member of the Super Bowl XVII champions. He lost both legs and severely injured one arm from a roadside bomb in Iraq in May 2007. Through the entire experience, Gadson has remained positive. Four months later, he gave the New York Giants a pep talk before playing the Washington Redskins. FOUR MONTHS!
That speech was the beginning of an incredible championship run. From that point forward, Gadson attended as many games as his recovery would allow. Yes, he was in Arizona. Gadson is still a member of the Giants today and he also has a role in a new movie called, “Battleship.”