Wounded Warrior Gives Coca-Cola 600 Starting Command

By Renee LaSalle | Fox News Charlotte| Foxcharlotte.com | May 29, 2011


Charlotte, NC – It’s the phrase every race fan knows by heart, “Gentleman, Start Your Engines.” Sunday afternoon Master Sgt. William “Spanky” Gibson will say those magic words, it really is truly unbelievable.”


Gibson’s life changed forever in May of 2006. He was on foot patrol in Ramadi, Iraq when a sniper’s bullet shattered his left knee, “Bullet went right through my knee and just totally destroyed it.” Gibson’s left leg was amputated above the knee within hours. But just a few months later his “do or die” spirit had him back up and using his new prosthetic. He quickly got back in the action, serving as an ambassador for injured veterans & deploying to Fallujah barely 20 months after he was shot, “Disability is different from an inability. Wounded warriors are not disabled.”


The jovial marine is stateside now. He laughs and says, “Pretty good for a fat boy from Oklahoma.” Gibson works at the Pentagon, serving as a representative and a voice for injured vets. He says, “Most marines, most service members never get to come back and say thanks.” To date he’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Injured Marine Semper Fi fund and earned the respect of thousands world wide. Ben Reiling is Coca-Cola’s Director of Motorsports. He says, “Spanky represents everything that’s good with America.” But Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 will be personal… For the first time his 71 year old Navy veteran father will stand next to him in his ambassador role. Gibson says, “That will be one of those memories where you say I’m completely content, I’m completely happy.” Join us Sunday for a special edition of Fox Got Racin’ followed by flag-to-flag coverage of the Coca-Cola 600. It all starts at 5… only on Fox Charlotte.


To learn more about Marine Master Sgt. William “Spanky” Gibson check out his official Facebook page.


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