Are you tired of the wall to wall coverage of Black Lives Matter terrorists? Are you sick of hearing about “safe spaces” and the outcry from aging celebrities over the rights for men to pee beside your daughter in public bathrooms? When is the last time you saw the mainstream media spotlight something ALL Americans can agree is a worthy cause, like a war hero trying to find ways to employ and empower veterans returning from war?
In 2007, Bobby Henline survived a devastating explosion that killed the rest of the men in his Army vehicle in Iraq and burned more than 38 percent of his body.
Now, nine years and 40-plus surgeries later, Henline, 44, wants to pay his gratitude forward – by opening a restaurant that will employ other veterans and serve the community.
“I’m trying to give back,” Henline tells PEOPLE. “This is a great way to do it, through empowerment and food.”
If every person reading this story could donate just $1, it would help Bobby to reach his goal. Isn’t it time we start ignoring the heroes our media has manufactured for us and start helping those who truly are heroes?
Not just any form of food will do for the restaurant, either. Henline aims to serve his personal favorite meal: hamburgers.
“I love hamburgers,” Henline shares. “When I travel, I’ve always got to find that hole-in-the-wall burger place.”
On April 7, 2007, during his fourth deployment, Bobby embarked on a convoy patrol north of Baghdad.
“I was in the lead vehicle,” Henline recalls. “The only thing I remember is having coffee that morning.”
Henline’s Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. Five men were inside the vehicle. Bobby was the only one who survived. He was profoundly burned – the flesh on his head was charred down to the skull.
Within 72 hours, the then-staff sergeant was inside the specialized burn unit at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he began the long, grueling treatment that included amputating part of an arm. Recovery wasn’t easy – physically or emotionally.
“I had a lot of survivor’s guilt,” Henline recalls. “I felt useless.”
During his rehabilitation, he developed a coping technique to let his family and caregivers know he was doing better.
“I joked with them,” Henline says. “I used my sense of humor. They said I was crazy-funny.”
So much so, that a physical therapist made him pinkie swear to try standup comedy, Henline laughs.
WATCH Here to see Bobby perform his unique brand of comedy before a live crowd:
It worked out so well that Henline now is a regular on the comedy circuit.
But not all veterans can joke their way to a livelihood, Henline says. “They need to be able to support themselves and their families.
“I started thinking about what I could do to help and pay back.”
Naturally, his love of hamburgers came to mind.
A New Start
Henline plans to hire only veterans to manage and work at the restaurant.
All he needs is funding.
He’s off to a good start. One month after launching a GoFundMe campaign, Hemline raised more than $61,000. He needs anywhere from $130,000-300,000, depending on whether he finds a site with equipment in place.
“Anything I raise that exceeds what I need, I will pass along to the next vet who wants to do this,” Henline says. “It’s the least I can do, to empower a veteran to move on to the next phase of life.”
Adds Henline: ““God kept me alive for a reason. I want to help, and offer other veterans a way to support themselves and their families.” Via: People
Here’s a great short documentary produced by TIME that shows Bobby’s journey from tragedy to comedy: