Soldier becomes internet star after marathon


PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- A soldier who lost his left leg in Afghanistan has drawn nationwide attention after carrying a woman across the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

He's from Scott Township, Lackawanna County, and was in our studios today to make a live cable appearance on the Fox News Channel.

We have more on the story behind the viral video.

Earl Granville says it was almost nine years ago when he was on an Army mission with engineers to the town of Zormat in Paktia Province.

Suddenly, the vehicle he was in blew up and he was ejected.

Two other soldiers, Spc. Derek Holland of Wind Gap, Northampton County, and Maj. Scott Hagerty of Stillwater, Okla., died in the blast in June 2008.

"I think I just got lucky. I was ejected out and by the time I hit Germany, they amputated my leg and we salvaged this guy, many surgeries later," says Granville.

By 2013, Granville was set to tackle the Boston Marathon on a hand bike, riding with a veterans' group, but he got food poisoning.

"I woke up the next day in the hospital and I checked out and Ubered back to my hotel. The bombings were just starting," says Granville.

After three years on a hand bike, Granville watched two double amputee friends run last year, and decided to give it a shot running.

"With 26 miles on a prosthetic and my other leg just full of hardware, yeah, I'm pretty sore today," says Granville.

It took all day. He walked for miles. Near the finish line, he and his trainer felt excited.

"And it was just kind of a spur of the moment, that energy coming down Boylston Street and I, we just wanted to end up with a little flavor, and I picked her up and we crossed the finish line," says Granville.

It's a moment that went viral, and prompted a national interview on "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday morning.

"It's overwhelming. I had no idea it would turn into something like it did, and it was literally just like kind of the two of us goofing off out there," says Granville.

Granville said he'd already done six interviews since Monday, and after his "Fox and Friends" appearance, he came to the Lackawanna County commissioners meeting where he led the Pledge of Allegiance.

He was also presented with a framed picture of his finish-line triumph.

Granville, 33, says he had to get over not only the death of two fellow soldiers, but also the loss of his twin brother, Joseph, an Iraq war veteran, to suicide.

"Losing my leg was easy. Losing Joe was, especially in that way... I felt lost," says Granville.

After surviving the roadside bomb in Afghanistan, Granville now spends much of his time on the road, sharing his story with others.

"Finding yourself, to find that happiness again. Once you start, that's it," says Granville. "Changing yourself and realize I want to be happy again. I want to live a healthy and good life. I feel like it all starts with our own attitude and crossing that starting line."

The organization Homes for Our Troops built him a specially-equipped house in 2012.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off