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    World-renowned motivational speaker, double amputee drives home safety aboard Cherry Point

    World-renowned motivational speaker, double amputee drives home safety aboard Cherry Point

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Santiago G. Colon Jr. | Billy Robbins, a world-renowned motivational speaker and Marine Vietnam veteran,...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Santiago G. Colon Jr. 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — He has no hands but a lot of intensity in his message – "Changed attitudes produce safety."

    Billy Robbins has been sharing this message with companies at all levels including Fortune 100 to national associations since he lost his hands in a company accident in December 1980.
    Robbins brought this message to military and civilian professionals at the station theater aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Sept. 7.

    Robbins spent seven years in the Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam, and ended his active service as a sergeant. Robbins said he enjoys the opportunity to share his message with members of the military and said his message of safety is important for Marines because he sees them deploy, come back safely, and get hurt doing something preventable back home.

    Pfc. Matthew L. Stamm, a help desk technician with Cherry Point Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron volunteered to help demonstrate and was taped to a wheel chair, simulating what it is like to be paralyzed.

    "Your family does not deserve this," Robbins said. "No matter what, when an accident happens, somebody pays and it is usually family.

    "You have to think about that before you do something [reckless]. Do you really not want to play with your kids?"
    The experience was a revelation for Stamm."I didn't like it all," Stamm said about being unable to move in the wheelchair. "Experiencing it for that small amount of time really made me think and realize I do not want that."

    During the presentation, "Hooked on Safety," Robbins shared how he was injured in an accident that was 100-percent preventable. He said he was working on a telephone pole when he made contact with a 7,200-volt power line, burning his hands so severely they had to be amputated.

    "Incidents like mine steal moments from your life," Robbins said. "I have never held my wife's hand."

    He said keeping an incident-free workplace takes a high level of commitment.

    "You can't let your emotions dictate your life," said Robbins. "You have to be motivated or risk (the consequences of) complacency."

    Robbins shared a story about the first time he saw his father cry, which was right after Robbins lost his hands. He said his father wanted to see how it would be to live without hands so he covered them with socks. He then tried to drink a cup of coffee, which brought him to tears.

    The realization of how this affected his father really put safety in a completely new light for Robbins, and that is the message he stressed during his presentation.

    "Safety has to become the most important thing in your life because it affects the most important people in your life," Robbins said.

    "He was really motivating," said Stamm. "I liked the fact that he didn’t give up on himself like some people would in his situation."

    Robbins has given his motivation sessions all over the world including countries like Germany, France and Amsterdam and said he hopes he can make a difference in people's lives.
    "I love people and I was so tired of seeing them get hurt for no reason," Robbins said. "Plus, it's fun."



    Date Taken: 09.11.2012
    Date Posted: 09.11.2012 13:39
    Story ID: 94512
    Hometown: BROKEN ARROW, OK, US
    Hometown: CLEVELAND, TN, US

    Web Views: 573
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