In 2005, Noah Galloway’s life changed forever.
On Christmas Day, he woke up in a German hospital to discover that he had been injured by a roadside bomb five days prior, resulting in the loss of his left arm and leg.
Galloway had been serving with the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom, on his second tour of duty. Previous to the injury, he was an accomplished soldier and athlete, and in the immediate aftermath, he believed that life was all but gone.
Thankfully, he says, he had someone to look to during recovery, someone to emulate who knew what it was like to lose a limb.
His own father.
Galloway’s dad, Andy, lost his arm when he was 18, working in a factory plant. In a video interview by Southern Living, Galloway shared a story about his frustration early on, and how his mother helped him put it all into perspective.
“And one day I was complaining, and I said, ‘Well, how am I going to ever tie my shoes with one hand,’ and my mom, just no nonsense, was like, ‘Well, your dad does it. I’m sure it’s not that hard.’ And she just picks this shoe up and ties it the first try. I kicked the shoe off and I just said, ‘Mom, I just want to have a moment, will you get out’ because I just wanted to be angry about something. And she’s like ‘No, this is easy.’
His parents weren’t the only family members that pushed Galloway to change his perspective. According to him, his three children are still a constant reminder for him to persevere because he wants to set a positive example for them to look up to.
Galloway has since become a national motivation speaker and advocate, talking about veteran issues like depression and trauma. In addition, he has become a fierce athlete, and consistently participates in races, marathons, and various fitness competitions.
“When I just decided to drop out of college and join the military, it was to serve my country, to serve others. And now I feel like I am in a position where I’m still doing that.”