News: Inspirational Speaker gives humor, hope to Troopers
Story by Spc. Mike MacLeod
By Sgt. 1st Class Gary L. Qualls, Jr.
1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ADDER, Iraq – Inspirational Speaker Dave Roever stopped here on a circuit around Iraq to impart his humor-injected message of hope to troops, Nov. 24.
Roever suffered a devastating injury while serving as a Navy river boat gunner in Vietnam. A sniper's bullet hit a grenade in his hand that he was poised to throw, causing it to explode and burn more than 50 percent of his body with 3rd degree burns. Roever underwent numerous major surgeries during 14 months in the hospital.
Roever shared another near-death experience during his speaking engagement at Logistics Support Area Adder. He relayed to the audience how he almost died from an intestinal problem. The doctor told him he was going to die in about 45 minutes, he said. His wife was upset about the dire circumstances, but Roever believed he was going to live.
"Who do you believe? Me or the doctor," he asked his wife.
Roever further shared how the pilot of the helicopter that was going to transport him to emergency care was a Vietnam veteran who also had faith.
Quoting the pilot, he said, '''I never lost a Soldier in Vietnam and I'm not going to lose one today!'"
"If I can make it, anybody can make it," said Roever regarding adversity.
The inspirational survivor, who was awarded an honorary doctorate degree for his amazing life and service, characteristically infused humor into his talk. He joked about how his body has so many parts now from all his operations that once his wife said goodnight to him before turning out the light and going to sleep and he was in the other room!
Roever complemented the mostly military audience during his remarks.
"It's important to me to stand before people who love life so much they're willing to lose it for someone else," he said.
He advised the Soldiers to not lose touch with their family.
"Don't get so involved in what you're doing that you fail to stay in touch," he said.
The bottom line is what happens to you in life is not the most important factor, Roever said. The critical factor is "How are you going to deal with it?" he said.