During this 4th of July week, we’re honored to celebrate American hero Noah Galloway. Noah is a purple heart recipient who lost his arm and leg during The Iraq War. But through courage, resilience, and his “no excuses” mantra, Noah persevered and is inspiring thousands of people every day.

How Noah’s “No Excuses” mantra came to be;

“I was in college when 9/11 happened. And when that happened, I felt motivated to do something and I wanted to do my part and I joined the military. I ended up in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and I went back in my second deployment and was severely injured and lost my left arm and left leg. … To be a physical person and then wake up one day and two of my limbs were gone, I really battled with that. … As I started to recover, not just physically but emotionally and mentally, and get back to taking care of myself, I got back into fitness and doing things. And because I started challenging myself, missing an arm and a leg, people said I took their excuses away.” 

Noah’s proud of the impact he’s made:

“Like everyone else, you have those moments of self-doubt. And we have that part of us that’s always telling us, ‘No that doesn’t work.’ Or ‘No, you’re not good enough.’ … I’m no different than anyone else but I realized that I have actually pushed myself to every limit since I’ve been injured. In fact, me pushing myself has gained attention for doing those things. So, I have this huge pride in what I’ve accomplished. But what I’m most proud of is the reaction I’ve gotten.”

When he hit rock bottom:

“I found myself in the military but when I got there, I found that I loved it. That was taken away. I was always physical in every job that I had, and I thought I’d never be physical again. And I struggled, and I was scared. I moved back to Alabama, I’d already been married once, got a divorce, rushed into a second marriage. Had two more children. Then, suddenly, I was divorced for a second time with three kids, my injury, no idea what I was going to do, and it was actually my children that were the motivation for me to say, ‘Well, now I’ve got to do something because this isn’t just affecting me. This is affecting my children.”

How he got through it:

“One of the big moments that I had was walking into the living room and the kids were watching cartoons one morning. And I realized to my two boys, I’m showing them what a man is, and that’s what they’re going to become one day. And to my little girl, I’m showing her how a man is supposed to act. So, that became my motivation, because the person I was wasn’t anybody I wanted my boys to be or my daughter to look for, so I knew I had to make a change. But I always tell people that life is not a movie, things don’t just fix. I still screwed up. I still made mistakes. But every time I screwed up and fell flat on my face it was the thought of my kids that motivated me to get up.”

His Dancing With The Stars experience:

“When they reached out to me, I had already turned down ‘Survivor’ and another show. And I actually knew ‘Survivor;’ I didn’t even know what ‘Dancing With The Stars’ was. With ‘Survivor,’ the problem was that there was no contact with the people back home. Even when those people get voted off during the show, they stay with the crew. There’s no contact back home. They keep everything secret. So, I turned it down because of my kids and then ‘Dancing With The Stars’ called and they … (ended up) sending a dancer to Birmingham. We rehearsed in a dance studio here and flew back and forth to L.A. for the live show. And I didn’t think I’d last very long, I thought maybe two weeks, but I ended up doing the entire 10 weeks and came in third place.”

What Noah is grateful for:

“I wouldn’t be the father I am today if I hadn’t had been injured. If I hadn’t had been injured, and hadn’t gone through those struggles and depression, in no way would I be the father, or the husband, that I am today. So, that is what I’m grateful for. … You know what: I’m grateful I got injured! As crazy as that is. It gave me a sense of purpose and resilience.”