2018-02-09 / Front Page

LIFE COMMITMENTS

Prayer Breakfast features importance of having a sense of humor in life
Wilson A. Rivera
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer, Garrison commander at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., speaks about his challenges to overcome his struggles and reestablish his commitment to live, his family, during the Fort Gordon National Prayer Breakfast held Tuesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center. 
Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer, Garrison commander at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., speaks about his challenges to overcome his struggles and reestablish his commitment to live, his family, during the Fort Gordon National Prayer Breakfast held Tuesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center. Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office “Don’t be upset when life gets hard. The struggle is what makes us stronger, embrace it, and learn to love it. When it becomes easy, challenge yourself and make it hard again. That is the only way we grow,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer, Garrison commander at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.

Dwyer was the guest speaker during the National Prayer Breakfast held Tuesday at the Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center.

While assigned as the detachment commander for Operational Detachment Alpha-325, 3rd Special

Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Dwyer was on mission during his third overseas deployment. On Aug. 19, 2006, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded in front of him, which took his hand off, split open his right arm, and last his eye due to shrapnel.


Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer, Garrison commander at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., speaks about his challenges to overcome his struggles and reestablish his commitment to live, his family, during the Fort Gordon National Prayer Breakfast held Tuesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center. 
Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer, Garrison commander at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., speaks about his challenges to overcome his struggles and reestablish his commitment to live, his family, during the Fort Gordon National Prayer Breakfast held Tuesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center. Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office During his presentation and photos, Dwyer mentioned people would tell him “ah you got messed up.” Today, looking at the photos most mention to him that he had no grey hair in the photo.

On a golf course one day, he was hitting some golf balls at the range. While not a great golfer, a Navy admiral at the range stated that his driving skills were impressive. Dwyer was asked if his handicap has improved since he’s been at that duty station, and he replied to the admiral, “No sir, my hand is still missing.”

“It’s important to have a sense of humor in life,” said Dwyer during the breakfast. “When I speak of something like building Soldier resilience, something we talk about so often in the military … I speak from the heart. I am so passionate about the topic and I believe that we have a great opportunity to educate young Soldiers and educated ourselves so that we can create a force that is more resilient persevere, and overcome obstacles. And we do it every day.”

“Every single day we see people overcoming what we believe are insurmountable challenges and it’s not an easy thing to do,” he said.

Chaplain (Col.) Dennis E. Hysom, senior chaplain for the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, thought the event was outstanding.

“I believe Lt. Col. Dwyer’s time with us was a powerful reminder of the necessity of sustaining our resiliency through strong family ties, faith, outlook and a sense of humor,” Hysom said.

Dwyer was introduced by Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., Cyber CoE and Fort Gordon commanding general, who also pointed out that the speaker arrived in the morning of the breakfast rather than coming the night before because of a commitment he had made to his family. Not only is his story of recovery powerful, his commitment to his family says a lot about his character, said Morrison about Dwyer.

Three things Dwyer focused on were to be surrounded with positive people, put purpose into life, and to have a sense of humor.

“Bringing people together for fellowship and to eat, pray, thankful, have conversation about how we can move forward together in positive direction, that’s surrounding yourself with positive people. It’s easy to say that,” he said. “It’s much harder to do it. We can have the introspective look in ourselves and do hangout with positive people. And times that we do not. And how that change us and affects us.”

Way too often do individuals forget the sacrifices that many families make and what spouses do to stand by their Soldier and every single one of them are saints because they put up with all of the flaws.

“My wife is absolutely the most amazing person I have ever met,” he said.

Dwyer is a father to his son and daughter, husband to his wife. When he thinks about surrounding himself with positive people he thinks about the life-changing moments those people have had on his life. That is the No.1 thing.

“So surround yourself with positive people. Find your purpose in life and live it every day. So, soul-searching years ago, when I looked deep inside myself in my life, and I’ve been in some low places in my life and made the determination about the reason I am here. The why in my life is to enhance the lives of the people that I love,” he said. “It’s easy to say that but think about the idea to recommit every day to that purpose and I fail at it all the time.”

The people that Dwyer loves is not limited to only his family. His love include his men, fellow Soldiers, fellow Servicemembers, and doing whatever it talks so they can succeed as leaders of the United States military.

“How many people have really sat down and taken that hard look inside themselves and say ‘What is the purpose for me being here?’ That is a question we have to answer in our own way,” said Dwyer. In order to have resiliency, perseverance and the ability to overcome those things in front of you, you have got to have a sense of humor. Life is too short.”

“I came to the realization that I wanted life to be hard. I’m happy that it’s hard. I’m happy that I’m in the situation that I am in.” Dwyer closed with what a chaplain once said to him, “Never pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a hard life. Pray for the opportunities to show others around you that anything can be overcome.”

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