How does a society produce a generation of special snowflake college students who need trigger warnings and fear words (both spoken and written in chalk), yet at the same time create a generation of heroes like Adam Brown, Kyle Carpenter, and Bobby Henline?
It’s one of the many chasms in our society, and one that only adds to the reason those heroes stand as role models for patriots, and as examples of what the human spirit can endure, overcome, and in the end – triumph.
Henline was the sole survivor of a devastating explosion that killed his friends, destroyed his vehicle, and burned more than 38 percent of his body.
“I was in the lead vehicle,” Henline recalls. “The only thing I remember is having coffee that morning.”
Less than 72 hours later, the staff sergeant was battling for his life in the specialized burn unit at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. That was just the start of an agonizing treatment that included having part of his left arm amputated.
Nine years and more than forty surgeries later, the 44-year-old wants to pay it forward by employing other veterans at a restaurant he is opening and giving then them the chance to start their own business as well.
“I’m trying to give back,” Henline told PEOPLE, “This is a great way to do it, through empowerment and food.”
Henline is currently crowdfunding the capital to start the restaurant and has raised nearly $70,000 towards his $300,000 to get it off the ground. As his GoFundMe page explains:
I have a dream, my dream is to continue to overcome the obstacles in life, live joyously with the hand I have been dealt and to demonstrate to others, all that can be done and accomplished, no matter what.
My mission is to keep showing up and paying it forward. A part of my dream is to own a quick service restaurant. WHY? Because I want to create a stable income, hire Veterans and then pay it forward by helping other Veterans own their own quick service restaurant. I have partnered with a Veteran that owns Biggies Burgers and Great Shakes in San Clemente, California and he is working with me to establish a Biggie’s Burgers and Great Shakes in San Antonio under his program Sunrise Warriors. Learn more at SunriseWarriors.com
With the money raised, I will be able to secure an existing building, attain necessary equipment, get my training and get the restaurant up and running. Any money left over will be put in a fund toward supporting another veteran in getting their own restaurant up and running.