FORT LEE, Va. (April 24, 2013) -- About 300 Fort Lee community members attended the 2013 National Day of Prayer Breakfast observance Tuesday morning at the Lee Club.

Organized by the Religious Support Office here, the event featured music by Danny Byram, a Christian singer/songwriter who has produced 11 albums and performed at more than 100 military installations around the world.

The keynote address was given by retired Maj. Gen. Bob Dees, a 30-year Army veteran whose previous assignments include stints as the 2nd Infantry Division commander in South Korea and deputy commanding general of V Corps in Europe.

He and his wife, Kathleen, currently serve on the board of directors for the Association of Christian Conferences and Teaching Services and the International Association for Evangelical Chaplains.

Dee's talk reflected the central theme of the breakfast -- resiliency. "Let's look at it in terms of logistics," he said. "You can live for months without food. You can live for days without water. You can live for seconds without hope.

"That's one of the realities of faith, resiliency and hope. And frankly, as we look at our suicide epidemic in the military and our national suicide epidemic, the primary challenge is that people lose hope. They lose the ability to hold on 10 seconds longer. They lose their courage and it's easier to go in the other direction."

Dees encouraged military leaders and others in the audience to be "messengers of hope." He concluded with a challenge to those in attendance.

"How about us … are we going to be hopeful people or are we going to live in despair. Which bookend are we? We all have the choice, and may we choose hope because it does not disappoint."