The renowned speaker and Vietnam War veteran will share his inpsiring story on July 22 in Newberg

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dave Roever was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service medal by the Army for his inspirational speaking and work with ex-service members.

After attending countless conferences and ministry events over the years, Family Life Church Pastor Dave Benson has maintained a list in his mind of people he's always hoping to get to visit his congregation.

Perhaps foremost on that list is Vietnam War veteran, renowned public speaker and ministry leader Dave Roever. So when the opportunity arose to invite him to Newberg, Benson jumped at it.

That chance came while Benson was visiting with a friend who pastors in Portland and Roever just happened to inquire about speaking there. Lucky for Benson, and the rest of Newberg, his friend could not host Roever this time and instead he will speak at 8:30 and 10 a.m. services July 22 at Family Life Church.

"They had had him at their church before, but they couldn't make it work, so I said, 'Give him my number,'" Benson said. "So I was at the right place at the right time."

Roever will share how he overcame the severe burns suffered when a phosphorus grenade exploded in his hand while serving in Vietnam in July 1969.

"He was supposed to die multiple times and somehow made it home, but was completely changed, burned over the majority of his body," Benson said. "He fully recovered and is a phenomenal speaker. He uses his platform to go into schools to tell his story and life after tragedy, that message of being able to overcome and make something of your life. I've watched him in high schools in front of thousands of students and you could hear a pin drop. He has such an incredible communication style."

Roever is known for connecting with audiences of all ages and in all sorts of settings, including schools, businesses, youth and men's conventions, churches, television shows and military installations all over the world.

Thirty-four years after his initial injury in Vietnam, Roever was awarded the Purple Heart by the U. S. Department of the Navy, as well as other service medals. In 2012, he was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service medal by the U. S. Department of the Army.

Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Roever has expanded his work with the United States military, visiting military academies, hospitals and installations both on U.S. soil and in hot spots on other continents. That includes speaking on Sept. 11, 2014, to U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the last 9/11 commemoration ceremony during the war.

"Now he's working with the Department of Defense and they'll bring him in to do sessions with families who have lost family members or when service members come back, he'll speak with their families as they go to be reunited," Benson said. "He's done a lot of work with them. I've been very familiar with him over the years and always wanted to get him to Newberg since I've been here."

Both worship sessions featuring Roever are open to the public. For more information, call the church at 503-538-3181.

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