One of the hardest things for former service members to do when they return is get back into the groove of normal civilian life. For some, it can seem practically impossible.
Sadly, the men and women who serve this country don’t always come back the same way they left. Some of the scars are physical and others are unseen, but felt strongly through mental and emotional challenge. But thankfully, more and more individuals are stepping up and addressing the issues our veterans face.
One man in particular is making it his mission to help veterans overcome their physical limitations in a way that few, if any, have tried.
This is former NFL linebacker David Vobora. In 2008 David was the last pick in the NFL draft, making him that year’s “Mr. Irrelevant,” but he’s about as far from irrelevant as one could be, especially when it comes to impacting the lives of others.
In 2011 David suffered a major injury and the following year he was forced to retire because of it. But you know what they say: when one door closes it always seems like there’s another one opening up. For David, that door was athletic training. More specifically, training those who previously thought it to be impossible: wounded veterans.
After retiring, David opened up a gym in Texas that specialized in working with elite athletes. For a while he experienced a lot of monetary success, but after interacting with a wounded veteran who was down on his luck, the former football player saw a need that he could fill.
In the following video, David talks about his first encounter with Bryan, a wounded veteran who had lost both of his legs in combat. What began as a kind gesture has turned into something much, much greater. And all because David took the time to help out his fellow man.
Take a look at the impact that David is making on Bryan and others’ lives:
The thing that sticks out to me the most is the sense of community and confidence that is evident on the faces of those participating. David’s gym has provided so much more than just physical fitness. It has given people a sense of belonging that they had been previously longing for.
Our veterans who come home face a whole host of issues you or I would never even think of, but often times they don’t get the care they need or deserve. David, and others like him, are working to make sure that isn’t the case!
“When I meet my Maker, I want to be able to stand before Him and say, ‘I used everything You gave me and I have nothing left.'” – David Vobora
While it may take time for our returning veterans to adjust to life at home, fortunately there are people like David Vobora who are willing to assist them and improve their quality of life along the way. Way to go David!