Army Lt. Col. Gregory Gadson, right, promoted a former battle buddy, Army Sgt. Eric Brown, to his present rank during the 22nd Chemical Battalion's organization day activities at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Aug. 6, 2009. Gadson credited Brown with saving his life after a homemade bomb destroyed both of his legs in Iraq in 2007. U.S. Army photo by Roger Teel
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2009 – A wounded warrior came to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., on Aug. 6 to promote a soldier who saved his life.
Army Lt. Col. Gregory Gadson, an Army War College Fellow at the Institute for World Politics, drove to the 22nd Chemical Battalion’s organization day activities at Capa Field to pin sergeant stripes on his former battle buddy, Army Sgt. Eric Brown.
About 300 soldiers, family members and unit supporters applauded the emotional event.
“This is significant, because this is the year of the noncommissioned officer,” Gadson said. “I couldn’t think of any other noncommissioned officer I would be more proud to promote.”
Gadson lost both legs below the knee when a homemade bomb detonated next to his up-armored Humvee in Baghdad on May 7, 2007. The explosion threw him some 200 feet from the vehicle. After the blast, Brown, the unit’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear NCO, who did double duty as the unit medic, raced from his position in the fourth vehicle of the convoy. He provided first aid to another injured soldier before locating the colonel, then applied tourniquets to stem Gadson’s loss of blood.