Iraq War Veteran Noah Galloway brought the entire Dancing With the Stars audience to tears with his emotional performance to a version of Toby Keith‘s ”American Soldier” Monday night (April 6).
Galloway has personally lived out the song’s heartfelt lyrics. During a routine patrol in Iraq, his vehicle was hit by an explosion that threw his 9,000 pound Humvee into the air. Galloway miraculously survived the bombing, but he lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee. The brave soldier faced a dark, difficult battle to recovery over the next few months. In the midst of his heartache and depression, he found solace in his family’s love and support.
The veteran worked for months to recover from the injury, and he is now competing on Dancing With the Stars. Galloway and his partner, Sharna Burgess, performed an inspiring routine to “American Soldier” this week, and it brought the entire audience to their feet. After the moving performance, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
The judges were also incredibly emotional after the performance. “There was something that was free and something that was so beautiful, and we all felt it here tonight,” Julianne Hough said. “And there was something that we would also like to say thank you for, because when you stand in front of that mirror, we all have things that we look at and don’t like about ourselves. But for you to have have something physical and you come out here and do what you do and astonish us every single week …”
“Your experiences are unimaginable, but your spirit soars unbroken, my darling,” Bruno Tonioli added. “You really are the ultimate role model. You want a superhero? There it is.”
Galloway and Burgess earned a 32/40 mark for their routine.
Keith’s emotional song is a powerful anthem to the bravery of soldiers across the nation. The country singer is a longtime supporter of the U.S. Army, and “American Soldier” is an ode to the brave men and women who protect our freedom as he sings: “And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price / I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice / Oh, and I don’t want to die for you / But if dying’s asked of me / I’ll bear that cross with honor / ‘Cause freedom don’t come free.”