By Pat Young, Fort Stewart Public AffairsApril 15, 2009
FORT STEWART, Ga -- Faith, hope, and support were messages shared throughout the installation's Easter Sunrise Service, April 12, at Fort Stewart's Marne Garden.
The service featured lively music performed by the Third Infantry Division Band Brass Quintet, the Live Oak Church of God Choir, and powerful stories by motivational speaker Dave Roever, who helped communicate those messages to the hundreds in attendance.
Although the morning started with a slight chill in the air, the warm welcome by the Fort Stewart's Senior Chaplain (Col.) Gary Moore, scripture reading by Senior Chaplain Assistant Sgt. 1st Class Paul Davidson, and responsive reading by Chap. (Lt. Col.) Bryan Walker, reinforced the messages of hope expressed in Roever's stories.
"You are going to have trouble in life, but you don't have to go through it alone," Roever said as he stood with disfiguring scars on his face, and confidence in his voice, and shared his story with those in attendance.
The scars, he siad, are the result of an injury received in 1969 serving in Vietnam as a boat gunner. He said while preparing to throw a white phosphorus grenade, a sniper shot him through the hand, and the grenade exploded next to his face. That moment, Roever said, and following events helped him realize his strength in faith and the power of compassionate support.
Roever told of his miraculous survival and a significant act while he was being treated for those injuries at the hospital. He said the nature of his injuries made it unbearably painful to be transported on a gurney, and he resisted being put on it; however a giant of a man, called "Rosie," stepped into his midst, and rather than force him onto the gurney, lifted him and walked him down the corridor and placed him in the water, continuously telling Roever, not to worry, and that it would be OK.
The doctors slowly removed the burnt skin from his body, Roever said, and during the painful process, he noticed Rosie was tearfully praying for him. Afterward, Rosie carried him back to his room, again reminding him not to worry, and he would be OK. Roever said Rosie didn't have to take those extra steps, but with those compassionate acts, helped him recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.
After Roever left the hospital, he inquired after Rosie, and was told Rosie arrived when Roever did, and left when he did too. No one knowing, where he came from, or where he went to. Roever said he's asked at various locations if anyone knew ofa man fitting that description, without luck. Roever doesn't know if he was a man or heaven-sent. But he does know that those acts of kindness and support helped elevate him to realize that everything was indeed all right, and that he didn't have to worry.
Rather than being bitter about his injuries, Roever found strength in his faith. He said when he couldn't carry himself, Rosie and the Lord helped.
"You can get hurt in life, but the question you have to ask yourself is, 'what you are going to do about it''"