FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Members of the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade received a message in spiritual resiliency Sept. 20 from a man who has exemplified the quality for the last four decades.

As part of their spiritual resiliency training, brigade Soldiers and civilians gathered in the Fort Sam Houston Golf Club for an early morning event that featured breakfast and fellowship, Bible verses, live musical entertainment and a guest speaker named David Roever.

A U.S. Navy river boat gunner during the Vietnam War, Roever suffered serious injuries in 1969 from a phosphorus grenade, which left him with extensive burns and included complete loss of hair, several fingers and an ear. After 14 months of hospitalization and numerous surgeries, he dedicated his life to inspiring and encouraging others.

Roever said that after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he began receiving calls from military commanders all over the country inviting him to share his story, saying their troops need to know "there's life after injury; life after war."

"Resiliency is not just coming back, but coming back stronger - taking a tragedy and turning it into a triumph," said Roever, who described life as a triangle of Family, friends and faith, which is the foundation.

"I have been surrounded by family and friends who are always trying to encourage me."
Resiliency requires certainty today, according to Roever.

"Make the hard choices now," he said. "The truth that makes you mad today will set you free [later]."

Defining "destination" as "where you're going" and "destiny" as "how you get there," Roever said, "Don't let someone else define your hope; your destiny."

Brigade Chaplain (Capt.) Scott Jackson, who coordinated the event, noted that Roever makes regular trips to Fort Sam Houston to visit burn victims in Brooke Army Medical Center.

"We were fortunate to get him to speak with us at this time," said Jackson. "His inspiring message of hope perfectly addressed our spiritual resiliency training."