Wounded veteran stresses resilience at National Prayer Breakfast
February 4, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - One man's life-changing story of survival served as inspiration for Soldiers and family members during the annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Nehelani Banquet and Conference Center at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Feb. 3.
"I never gave up the fight," said Dave Roever, a renowned motivational speaker and Vietnam War veteran. "As you look at me, I know I am a physical example of what can happen in war, but I am proud of my scars and stripes," he continued.
Roever served in the Navy as a river boat gunner during the Vietnam War. He was badly burned over 50 percent of his body when a phosphorous grenade exploded. After his recovery he became a motivational public speaker, and was invited to give his humorous, enthusiastic and encouraging speeches at different events.
During his speech, Roever expressed his deepest gratitude for servicemen and women who sacrifice their lives every day to protect the people of United States.
"I slept well last night at my hotel, and my grandchildren slept well last night back in Texas, because you have stood up for my freedom, you have defended my rights, and you have given me the unprecedented privilege of living as a free man," said Roever. My family is free and secure, and I am here to say thank you," he continued.
The theme of this year's National Prayer Breakfast was resilience, which Roever emphasized not just for today's war fighters, but also for family members. What makes service members and family members exceptional is the ability to go through the physical, mental, and spiritual pain and hardship and still come out stronger than ever.
"Resiliency is coming back strong, to not give up, to turn that pain and hurt to a product that is valuable, to turn a tragedy into a triumph," said Roever. He also mentioned three things that make up resilience - family, a powerful source of inspiration and stability; friends, for influence; and faith, to give one hope.
During the event different spiritual leaders and Soldiers led prayers for the nation's peace, for military leaders to have the strength to lead their men on the battlefield, for Soldiers and family members, and for deployed Soldiers to come home safe.
"I am proud that I have opportunities to travel to war zones or back home and be able to communicate with America's finest," said Roever. His way of looking at his injuries shows what one can endure and overcome to take on the world.