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National prayer breakfast features a true American hero

  • Published
  • By Jill Fuson
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Joining in a tradition that began in 1952, more than 200 RAF Lakenheath warriors, civilians and spouses attended the 48th Fighter Wing' s Commander National Prayer Breakfast March 7, at the Eagles Landing.

The purpose in observing this event remains unchanged: "To bring together the military and civilian leadership of the United States in recognition of the moral and spiritual values upon which our great nation was founded," according to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives'.

The event's featured speaker, Dr. Dave Roever, was burned beyond recognition eight months into his tour of duty in Vietnam when a phosphorous grenade exploded in his hand. The ordeal left him hospitalized for 14 months, during which time he underwent numerous major surgeries. The Department of the Navy awarded Dr. Roever a Purple Heart and several other service medals 34 years after his injuries. Using only one operational finger on one hand and half of a thumb on the other along with his knuckles and elbows, Dr. Roever played an inspirational song on the piano during the breakfast to prove anyone can do anything with determination and perseverance.

"Dave Roever is a gifted communicator with a humorous style. He is involved in compassionate mission work in Vietnam and other places around the globe," said Chaplain (Capt.) Richard Holmes, 48th Fighter Wing Chapel. "We were very pleased to have Dr. Roever address our warriors and impart such a poignant message of hope and inspiration."

Dr. Roever regularly speaks to troops both deployed and at their home stations about his wartime experience of service, injury and recovery. Using his life as an example, he addressed issues relevant to the military and presented a concrete solution to life's problems. Often calling upon his war experiences of disfigurement, pain and loneliness, as well as his life's triumphs, he entwined a message of courage, commitment, survival and transforming.

The foundation of his hope was through the power of the triangle - family, friends and faith. He talked of the different types of battlefields each of us face in our daily lives such as the living room, the bedroom, the bank and even at our jobs. He advised Liberty Warriors to prepare for pain in their lives and make something good out of the bad. His personal solution to these bad times is prayer.

"Dr. Roever is a true American Hero," said Lisa Ballard, of the 48th Mission Support Squadron Airmen and Family Readiness Center. "I know his speech and experiences will stay with me the rest of my life."