KILLEEN — Vietnam veteran, international speaker and author Dave Roever visited Destiny World Outreach Center in Killeen on Sunday.

For 46 years, he has been using his battle scars to send a message of hope to others.

In July 1969, while serving in the Vietnam war with the U.S. Navy, a white phosphorus grenade exploded in his hand, leaving nearly half of his body covered in third-degree burns.

Roever struggled with emotional scars following the event, even contemplating suicide while recovering in the hospital.

He chose life, however, and since leaving the hospital in 1970, he has traveled to U.S. military installations across the country and the world to share his story and his faith with soldiers who may be coping with similar challenges.

“When I go to the military, I have an automatic bridge to heart to heart because this ol’ ugly scar becomes my advantage, and they say, ‘he knows what we’re up against.’

And when I go into the hospitals — they’re blown up, they’re burned — when I walk in the room, I’m hope. That’s what I am,” Roever said.

Chad Rowe, head pastor at Destiny World Outreach Center, said Roever’s message is especially applicable to many in his congregation who serve on active duty, which is one of the primary reasons church leader’s wanted to have the veteran there to speak.

“The military’s really going through a lot of stress, and we just felt like this is a perfect time to do that for the people, plus civilians, family members, husbands, wives that have a service man or woman going through stuff,” Rowe said.

In addition to traveling to schools, churches and conventions as a speaker, Roever and his wife also co-founded two ranches, one in Texas and one in Colorado, where he and a team help instill hope in wounded warriors.

Contact JC Jones at jcjones@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7464​

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