Master Sergeant William “Spanky” Gibson
Branch of Armed Services: Marine Corps
Hometown: Pryor, Oklahoma
Institution of Higher Learning: University of Maryland – University College (Adelphi, MD)
Degree Sought: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
After losing his left leg to a terrorist sniper’s bullet while serving in Iraq in 2006, U.S. Marine Corps Master Sergeant William “Spanky” Gibson endured months of difficult rehabilitation and rigorous physical therapy. While recovering from his amputation, Master Sergeant Gibson set a goal of training for triathlons.
In 2007, he competed in the Escape from Alcatraz Swim where he met Marine General James Mathis. Upon meeting General Mathis, Gibson’s only request was…redeployment to Iraq, making him the first ever above-the-knee amputee to be redeployed to the front lines.
After his second deployment to Iraq, Gibson earned an opportunity to become the first enlisted congressional military legislative fellow. He currently works for House Committee on Veteran Affairs Ranking Member Congressman Steve Buyer. With this opportunity, Gibson and his family moved from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C., where he has now enrolled at the University of Maryland – University College and is studying psychology, a course of study which will supplement his work with other disabled veterans.
Quote from Spanky:
“I want to spend the remainder of my life helping veterans overcome mental health problems.”