Eric Niemann, Greg Gadson
Mayor Eric Niemann, left, and Col. Greg Gadson interact during the virtual Veterans Day program. (Screenshot of Facebook video recorded through Zoom)

If you missed the Col. Greg Gadson presentation that was hosted by the city for Veterans Day, watch the video (go to city’s Facebook page and scroll down to the Nov. 10 post) and give this story a read. The program included fascinating stories from former Giants coach Tom Coughlin, Philomath football icon Kevin Boss and former NFL assistant Mike Sullivan.

For those who did catch it, you might remember learning something fairly interesting about our mayor. Eric Niemann attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with Gadson and Sullivan.

Gadson, an inspirational speaker who ended up losing both of his legs to amputation following a roadside bombing incident in Iraq, provided some interesting insight.

“I think that the first time I ever heard of Eric Niemann — he wasn’t Eric; his nickname at West Point was actually “Screamin’ Niemann.’” It really should’ve foreshadowed his entry into politics,” Gadson said.

“He was Screamin’ Niemann because he was being pushed in what was a janitor’s cart across the area at West Point when he was running for class office. That was his entry into politics.”

Fortunately (or would be unfortunately), we didn’t see any such antics here a couple of years ago when Niemann ran for mayor here in Philomath!

Gadson was kidding around with Niemann near the beginning of his talk but was very complimentary when it came to the effort that he put in to make the program a reality.

It really was a pretty interesting program. Here are a couple of my other favorite comments. Here’s something that Col. Gadson said in reference to the recent political division we’ve seen in our country:

“I never once asked a soldier whether or not he was from a red state or a blue state or whether he was a Democrat or a Republican,” he said. “These men and women raised their right hand to defend our nation and they come together to do that.

“I think as a nation, I think as Americans, that’s how we win,” he continued. “We win by coming together because it takes all of us — solutions that come from one side or the other side are not lasting solutions. It’s the solutions that come together as true teammates, as true patriots, as men and women that love our country — that is what allows us to overcome the challenges that we face every day.”

Coughlin had some pretty interesting comments about his coaching days. But he also shared his views on the same subject in honor of Veterans Day.

“In this day in age in our country, when we need some unity, when we need to pull together, when we need to show what the United States of America is all about, we need to tip our hats to our veterans, to tell those who are currently in service of our country, and those who have served before, how much we care about them, how important they are to us, how much we thank them for allowing us to live in the manner that we live in this country and raise our families the way we want to because we’re safe and we’re protected.”

(Daily Scoop is a blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).