What: Frontier Airlines is supporting the transportation of Staff Sergeant Bobby Henline, a very special active duty soldier, from San Antonio, Texas, to Branson, Missouri
When: Frontier Flight arrives approximately 1:50PM CST; Thursday, June 24, 2010
Where: Branson Airport, 4000 Branson Airport Blvd, Hollister MO 65672
Traveling South on Hwy 65 approximately one mile from the Hollister interchange, turn left on Maple Street/Branson Creek Blvd. Continue approximately 5 miles (Branson Creek Blvd. becomes Branson Airport Blvd.) and park in the Short Term lot. Please bring in your parking ticket for validation.
In 2007, Bobby was in Iraq and assigned to relieve another soldier as a Humvee driver on April 7, 2007. On that day, his very first day in his new role, Bobby was driving a Humvee when it hit a road-side bomb. The bomb totally destroyed the Hummer and killed the other men in the vehicle. Bobby’s clothing caught fire. Sergeant First Class Bryant Fowler, the soldier Bobby was relieving, pulled Bobby out of the truck, doused the fire that was consuming him and began life saving procedures.
Bobby was flown back to the States, and since April 7, 2007, he has had to endure 41 plastic surgeries to restructure his torso, head and arms. The plastic surgery failed on one arm and it had to be amputated. Thankfully, where there was only bone, the surgeons were able to put down new skin tissue. They recently did surgery on his left eye, which he also lost, so it would appear more normal and they have begun reconstructive work on his mouth. The surgeons gave Bobby less than a 50-50 chance of pulling through those initial surgeries, but he surprised them all by surviving.
The best part of the story and why we are helping to get Bobby to Missouri:
Bobbi is to be honored and to throw in the first pitch in a minor league Springfield Cardinal home game on the evening of June 25. As if that wasn’t enough, the soldier who pulled Bobby from the burning Humvee and applied life-saving procedures (Sergeant First Class Bryant Fowler) now lives and works as head Drill Sergeant at Ft. Leonard Wood. Bryant and Bobby have not seen each other since the accident in 2007. On Friday, June 25, at the start of the game, SFC Fowler will make a surprise entrance onto the field, seeing Bobby for the first time in more than three years and joining him as he throws the game’s first pitch. I have to tell you, it brings a tear to my eye, just thinking about it.
My understanding is that the Stadium is sold out in anticipation. More than 7,300 people will be in attendance. The Our House Foundation (the group that I have been working with) and the Springfield Cardinals will be honoring both men at the Cardinals game that night.
Given the severity of Bobby’s injuries and the many many surgeries he has endured, it is very important that we do all we can to give this special soldier the special care he so needs (and deserves).
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