cover image Finding Waypoints: A Warrior’s Journey Toward Peace and Purpose

Finding Waypoints: A Warrior’s Journey Toward Peace and Purpose

Terese Schlachter and Gregory D. Gadson. Schaffner, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-63964-024-9

In this intense and inspiring debut, television producer Schlachter recounts the life story of coauthor Gadson, a retired U.S. army colonel, former West Point football player, actor, and motivational speaker. A veteran of Desert Storm and wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan, Gadson was returning to base from a May 2007 memorial service in Baghdad when his vehicle hit an IED, triggering a blast that cost him both legs above the knee and severely damaged his right arm and hand. Schlachter describes how Gadson’s fellow soldiers administered medical aid in the surreal moments after the explosion, and shines a light on the deeply rooted faith, family, and military brotherhood that helped him battle through recovery. She also attributes Gadson’s rousing pregame speech to the New York Giants with inspiring the team to victory in the 2008 Super Bowl (the players saw a man who’d “been... on the edge of death but had grabbed onto life and stuffed it back into his soul,” Schlachter writes). In gritty detail, Schlachter documents Gadson’s surgeries and slow road to recovery, and reveals how he used his experiences to inspire others, even as he struggled to overcome his own emotional obstacles. Eventually, he was able to forgive those who fought against him—as well as those who sent him into a war whose motives he could not defend. It’s a fast-moving, unsparing account of a fascinating life. (Nov.)