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Decorated war veteran Earl Granville declares candidacy for Congress

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Earl Granville of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard talks about his prosthetic leg while participating in Operation Proper Exit at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 6, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ashley Curtis)
December 13, 2019

Decorated war veteran and veterans advocate Earl Granville on Thursday announced his candidacy for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District.

Granville, 36 of Scott Township, is seeking the Republican nomination. If he wins the nomination in the April 2020 primary, he would then square off against incumbent Democrat Matt Cartwright in November.

Republican Luzerne County Councilman Harry Haas, 44 of Kingston, and Teddy Daniels, 44 of Wyoming, entered the race in October.

In his announcement video, Granville shares his story of overcoming severe battlefield wounds while serving in Afghanistan, to being welcomed home by his supportive community and now running to give back to northeast Pennsylvania in Congress.

“When I lost my leg in Afghanistan, the community here in Northeastern Pennsylvania was so good to me,” Granville said. “They helped me move forward, especially when my brother Joe passed away. And I want to give back. I am so grateful for this community. I’m humbled to be from this area. I’m humbled to have grown up here. And I want to show my gratitude — and that’s why I’m running for Congress. I learned first-hand in the Army, serving your country means putting the needs of others before your own. And that’s exactly what I will strive for each and every day as your Congressman.”

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Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District was won by President Donald Trump in 2016 by 10-percent.

Granville said he is disheartened by the divisive nature of Washington that he said is “led by career politicians who put partisan attacks ahead of purpose.” He added that gridlock and mean-spirited taxpayer-funded investigations prevent the country from moving forward.

About Earl Granville

In 2001, Granville said his twin brother, Joe, asked him to drive him to the local Pennsylvania National Guard recruiting office. Granville would also sign up for duty that very same day. And just a few days later the tragedy of 9-11 happened.

Earl and Joe’s first deployment was Bosnia, part of Alpha Company 109th Infantry. Two years later Earl and Joe volunteered for a tour of duty in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

To continue serving his country, and to honor the memory of his fallen friends, Granville volunteered to be deployed to Afghanistan, joining Operation Enduring Freedom — a decision that would lead to Earl being seriously injured.

“We had been on a five-day mission,” he said. “On the final day, we took a different route to the site where we were about to build this school. I remember seeing the first patch of green grass in months. The next thing I remember was seeing black. I could hear faint noises around me. I could see our vehicle was completely in pieces. I tried to stand, but couldn’t. I looked down and my feet were almost completely backwards and full of blood.”

Earl would ultimately spend months in the hospital, need multiple operations to save his right leg, and his left leg was amputated.

Granville realized the best way he could honor the legacy of those who have fallen was to challenge himself physically in their honor, and dedicate himself to helping and inspiring other wounded and disabled veterans.

So he began rigorous training and over time, he went from successfully running in 5K races, to running in marathons, including the New York and Boston Marathons.

“I found a new purpose and passion, just like I found running, in helping my fellow veterans,” Granville said. “Your life isn’t over once you get out of the military. You just have to refill those voids, and again, be part of something bigger than yourself.”

Granville started crisscrossing the country, giving speeches of motivation and healthy ways to battle adversity as well as giving his time to help wounded and disabled veterans, and the organizations that support them.

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© 2019 The Times Leader