Patriotic Marathon Runner Praised in Lackawanna County

Commissioners honor Earl Granville for moment that stirred online outpouring

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- A local wounded warrior at the center of a viral moment at the Boston Marathon is talking about the experience. As Eyewitness News first told you Monday, the amputee completed the race by hoisting a friend and the American flag across the finish line. The Pennsylvania Patriot was honored Wednesday in his native Lackawanna County.

Beneath the brown cover was the reason Lackawanna County Commissioners decided to honor SSG Earl Granville (RET). It's a photo of the wounded warrior that triggered an online tidal wave of patriotism and millions of "likes". "I had no idea it would turn into something like this," said Mr. Granville.

As the Carbondale native was about to complete his first Boston Marathon using only the power of his right leg and his left prosthesis, he shared an idea with his race guide and good friend Andi Piscopo about 50 feet from the finish line. "I decided to, 'hey let's buddy carry' and I think in the heat of the moment... all of that electricity coming down Boylston, just buddy carried her over the finish line."

Two days after finishing the marathon and nearly nine years after the roadside bomb in Afghanistan that cost him a limb, county leaders paid this Pennsylvania Army National Guard vet a special tribute. "We wanted to bring you in Earl because you are the epitome of a hero to all of us," said Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O'Malley.

They praised him for his ongoing support of other military veterans and commitment to community and his ability to overcome and adapt. "A lot of people out there with a devastating loss of a leg might just, you know, would roll themselves up in a corner and not want to go out. Earl wouldn't let that happen," said Mr. O'Malley.

It might help explain why Mr. Granville competed in a city that also refused to quit after the devastating 2013 marathon day bombing. "You see the resiliency of not just Boston but the nation itself coming on top of something like this and just being like 'you're not going to slow us down' and if anything what I could show the city of Boston is just like picking up somebody like Andi and understand that we never have to carry this weight alone."

Now, Mr. Granville has this patriotic moment frozen in time to hang on his wall; a moment that won't soon be forgotten in his native Lackawanna County. 

As a further tribute, Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors said on Facebook, "Thanks to Earl Granville for showing the Boston Marathon what veterans of the Pennsylvania National Guard can do." 


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