Dave Roever, American Hero, Vietnam Veteran

I have long felt that our Vietnam veterans were not treated properly by society. And when I read of heroes like Dave Roever, I am reminded of the debt this country owes men like this:

As a riverboat gunner in the Brown Water/Black Beret in 1969, Roever was burned beyond recognition when a phosphorous grenade exploded in his hand. He was set to throw the grenade at the enemy, but was shot by a sniper after pulling the pin.

“In one second, my life was changed forever,” Roever said. “It only takes one moment to change your life.”

Roever described to students the intense pain he endured while attempting to get to safety.

“I don’t want to make you sick, I just want you to get the idea of an unlikely survival,” Roever said as he explained to students how he could hear his skin sizzling as it burned in the water. “To be able to speak to you today is beyond comprehension.”

Roever was sent to a hospital in Japan before returning to the United States, where he spent 14 months in the hospital.

In Japan, he asked for a mirror to look at the damage and at that moment, he felt his life was over, he told students.

“One side of my head was skull and the other side was so swollen,” Roever said. “I knew my teenage wife would never love me and I knew it was over.”

Read the rest. Life was certainly not over for Dave or his wife. It was just starting.

I have no way of measuring this, but Vietnam veterans are surely the most under-appreciated group of living vets. If we can have a Secretaries Day, why not a Vietnam Veterans Day? I am not one for new holidays, but this seems appropriate. One way to right a wrong that has festered for too long in this country. . .

7 thoughts on “Dave Roever, American Hero, Vietnam Veteran”

  1. Stories like Dan’s and his wife’s are so amazing. I’ve been to a couple of Ia Drang Valley veteran’s reunions with my uncle, and the men and their wives are such heroes. Meeting those vets was a life changing experience.

  2. Great story Sir, makes all the things most of us complain about in life seem very small

  3. I am proud to say that there are more success stories from my Nam vets than failures. The scars are there, visible or not, yet they are productive members of society. Thanks and Welcome Home, guys.

  4. Several years ago, (June, 2005) Branson, Missouri hosted a “Welcome Home” for Viet Nam vets. It was sponsored by Ross Perot, UPS, and several others. We were there for a week, played golf, and closed the week with a kick-ass open air concert featuring Ann Margret, John Fogerty, and many others from that era. IMHO, it was a huge success and brought some closure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42XZq8ObepY is a video from the CD “Operation Homecoming” sent to the attendees.

  5. Lou: I would have loved to hear the stories.
    Yvette: I agree.
    CP: Welcome home is right.
    Flugelman: Wow. Ross Perot is great American for that.

  6. NavyOne, FIRST, thank YOU for your service to the USA and thereby, all of us! Secondly, thank you for referring to the amazing story of my boss – Dave Roever. In addition to speaking to students, he travels the globe speaking to US military members, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and he now offers hope and healing to other WOUNDED warriors, physically or otherwise, via his 2 EAGLES SUMMIT RANCH facilities in Colorado and south Texas. Last, my dad was a WWII veteran who crossed into France on D-Day, obviously surviving. My HUGE GRATITUDE to every active duty and veteran — BECAUSE OF YOU, WE ARE FREE! THANK YOU! (I’ve not a blogger and found you when I did a search for “riverboat gunner.”)

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