By Debbie Gregory.
In one of the most closely contested races, Republican Eric Greitens, a decorated former Navy SEAL who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, won his election for governor of Missouri against Democrat opponent Chris Koster, the former State Attorney General.
The former Rhodes Scholar and White House Fellow is also the founder of The Mission Continues, an organization that encourages veterans to get involved in their communities.
In 2014, Greitens, who has never previously held elected office, was listed in Fortune Magazine as one of the world’s 50 greatest leaders. In 2013, he was named to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Greitens is also an accomplished author. Strength and Compassion is a collection of photographs and essays published in 2008.
Greitens’ second book, The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL, was released in 2011. The book is Greitens’ memoir of service, featuring stories of his humanitarian work, his training as a naval officer and SEAL and the military experiences that led him to adopt the paradoxical philosophy that you have to be strong to do good, but you also have to do good to be strong. The book became a New York Times bestseller. A year later, Greitens’ publisher released a young adult edition of The Heart and the Fist titled The Warrior’s Heart.
March 2015 saw the release of Greitens’ book Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life. It draws on letters Greitens wrote to a fellow SEAL struggling with PTSD.
I had the honor of meeting Eric Greitens, and also the honor of hosting Mission Continues fellows.
Among, Greitens’ awards are the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation, Joint Service Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.