PLAINS TWP. — Earl Granville of Carbondale took a long journey to national TV fame.
He says it was almost nine years ago when he was on an Army mission with engineers to the town of Zurmat, Afghanistan.
The vehicle blew up; he was ejected.
Two other soldiers, one from Wind Gap and the other from Oklahoma, died.
Granville lost a leg.
By 2013, Granville was set to tackle the Boston Marathon on a hand bike with a veterans group but he got food poisoning and never made it.
That actually turned out to be a stroke of luck.
“Woke up the next day in the hospital and I checked out and Ubered back to my hotel, the (marathon) bombings were just starting,” the solider recalled.
After three years on a hand bike, he watched his two double-amputee friends run the marathon last year. Then he gave it a shot himself Monday.
It took all day and he and his trainer walked for miles. Near the finish line, they felt excited.
“And it was just kind of a spur of the moment, that energy coming down Boylston Street and I just wanted to end up with a little flavor,” he said. “I picked Andi (my trainer) up and we crossed the finish line.”
It was a moment that went viral, and prompted a national interview on “Fox and Friends.”
“It’s overwhelming, I had no idea it would turn into something like it did and it was literally just like kind of the two of us goofing off out there,” Granville noted.
Granville said he’d already done six interviews since Monday and after his “Fox and Friends” appearance he came to the Lackawanna County commissioners meeting Wednesday where he led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The 33-year-old says he had to get over not only the death of two fellow soldiers, but also the loss of his twin brother, Joseph, an Iraq war veteran, to suicide.
“Losing my leg was easy; losing Joe was especially in that way, I think … I felt lost,” Granville said. “… I want to be happy again. I want to live a healthy and good life and I feel like it all starts with our own attitude and crossing that starting line.”