Inspiring footage of an army veteran with a prosthetic leg carrying his friend over the Boston Marathon finish line was captured during Monday’s race.
“My goal was to do it in six-and-a-half, seven hours,” Earl Granville told ABC News today. “We were 50 feet away and I told Andi, ‘I’m going to carry you.'”
Granville, 33, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, lost his left leg through the knee in 2008 after his vehicle hit a roadside bomb while he was on patrol in Afghanistan. His comrades, Spc. Derek Holland of Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, and Maj. Scott Hagerty of Stillwater, Oklahoma, were killed in the blast.
Since then, Granville has competed in the Detroit, Chicago, New York and Marine Corps Marathons. This is the fourth year Granville has participated in the Boston Marathon, but it was his first time running it without a handbike, he said.
In the midst of this year’s excitement, Granville said he made it to the end before lifting up his friend and marathon guide, Andi Piscopo, 38, of Attleboro, Massachusetts.
“I’m a public figure for mental health awareness in society and I always say, ‘You never have to carry that weight alone yourself,'” Granville said.
Granville is also a Combat Infantryman Badge and Purple Heart recipient. He speaks publicly about the importance of veterans seeking help for mental distress since the death of his twin brother, Staff Sgt. Joseph Granville, who took his own life in December 2010.
Footage from yesterday’s race showed Granville holding Piscopo over his shoulders while she gripped a large, American flag.
The video, posted by ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston, has been viewed over 7 million times on Facebook.
“It was a spur of the moment kind of thing,” Andi Piscopo told ABC News. “There’s electricity in the crowd throughout the entire 26 miles but when you make those last two turns, you just get goosebumps. It is surreal. It’s such a feel-good moment. It was an awesome moment, an awesome experience. I had said this morning that this was my favorite Boston Marathon.”