“Finding Waypoints” Event Footage

Terese Schlachter & Colonel  Gregory Gadson (Ret.) discussed their new book, Finding Waypoints: A Warrior’s Journey Towards Peace and Purpose on February 7th, 2024 at the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum.  Click here to view the video of the event.

About The Event:

After he lost both legs in an IED attack in Iraq in 2007, Colonel Gadson felt his sense of self had been obliterated.  Yet within eight months, he was mentoring the NY Giants to their 2008 Super Bowl win and would later star in the major motion picture, Battleship. He is now a much sought-after motivational speaker.  The co-authors discussed Colonel Gadson’s early life, his path from the Army football team to a distinguished military career, his injury, its incredible aftermath, and the waypoints that sustained him throughout.

The title of the book comes from an encounter with an Army major during his posting at the former Fort Bragg, now Fort Liberty.  It’s an inspirational story, and one that will resonate with today’s soldiers.

About The Book:

A hybrid of biography and autobiography, the book is the result of an extraordinary relationship between journalist Schlachter and her subject Gadson—a man who survived the worst and has used his experience to enrich the lives of others.

What starts as a minute-by-minute account of a disaster in a war zone quickly turns into an uplifting story of survival and triumph. Within eight months of losing his legs due to injuries sustained in Iraq, Gadson mentored the New York Giants to their Super Bowl win in 2008. “Greg instilled in our team a tremendous example of sacrifice and self-denial for a greater cause,” says Tom Coughlin, the team’s former coach.

Publishers Weekly calls Finding Waypoints “Intense and inspiring…a fast-moving, unsparing account of a fascinating life.”  Gary Sinise, actor and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation says “Colonel Greg Gadson’s journey is humbling, healing and inspirational. Finding Waypoints is a story of hope and recovery, a motivational biography told from inside one of our nation’s military families who gave so much to this country and in the end, see their sacrifice as a blessing. I have known Colonel Gadson since the early days of his injury and am honored to call him friend. This story will lift you up.”

About the Authors:

Terese Schlachter is a Washington-DC based writer and producer of videos and documentaries (NBC News, Dept of Defense) who first met Colonel Gadson when covering the new veterans facility at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007. She became his fast friend and confidante during his painful recovery and rehabilitation. Terese is a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer, and founder and Chief Storyteller of Ridgeback Communications. Her short film “Picture Perfect” was nominated for “Best Short” at the 2017 DC Indie Film festival as well as a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy. She lives in Shady Side, Maryland with her husband Jon, and Lillian, a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog.

Colonel Gregory Gadson(Ret.) was grievously wounded in an IED attack in Iraq in 2007 while he and his unit were returning from a service for two fallen soldiers. He subsequently lost both legs and severely injured his right arm, and, in the course of his rehabilitation and recovery, he became a source of inspiration and motivation for other war-wounded at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Due to his longtime connection with West Point as a football player there, and his friendship with the coach of the then-struggling NY Giants in 2007, Gadson soon became a motivational co-coach and spiritual guide, helping the team go from nearly last place to Superbowl Champions in 2008. Gadson subsequently starred in a major Hollywood movie, “Battleship”, and has been an admired motivational speaker and coach for numerous organizations both civilian and military, for several years now.

An avid outdoorsman and enthusiast of skiing, cycling, and deep-sea fishing, he has led numerous adventure-travel expeditions for wounded veterans. He is the recipient of the 2010 NCAA Inspiration Award and the 2017 Henry Biscardi Achievement Award. In his honor, in October 2022, the new veterans center at Wayne State University was named the Colonel Gregory Gadson Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence. When not traveling around the country as a motivational speaker, Gadson enjoys time at home in Alexandria, VA with his wife, children, and grandchildren, and continues to pursue his acting career and his love of photography.