Burned in Iraq, veteran motivates with humor, runs to raise funds

Wounded hero healing through humor

BEDFORD - Bobby Henline will be the first to tell you that he should've died in Iraq in 2007.

“I was burnt over 38 percent of my body," Henline said. "Doctors said there's no medical explanation for why I'm alive."

Ten years ago, the Humvee Henline was riding in hit a roadside bomb. The blast from the explosion killed four other men inside inside the vehicle and left Henline severely burned. It was his fourth tour in Iraq, his thirteenth year in the military.

"If I was one of the guys that didn't make it, what I want for the guy that did, of course I would want them to live the life to the fullest," Henline said.

For the last decade, the father of four has tried to find out how to do that.

LINK: Run Like You're On Fire Tour

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my angels and their life that I can't waste today," Henline said.

That's where the story takes an unexpected turn. Henline was always funny but he never imagined how healing humor really could be.

"I've got to teach them the burn survivor wave," Henline said as he waved both arms above his head. "It's like when you buy a Jeep you learn the Jeep wave. The day you get burned, you learn the burn wave. It's like, 'ahhh!'"

For the past few years, he's toured the country as a motivational speaker, cracking jokes even if they make you cringe.

But this year, the San Antonio native is doing something new, a 5k race to raise money for charity. Sunday, he brings the fundraiser back to his home state. The Run Like You're On Fire Tour event is free to the public and will take place at 8 a.m. at Pennington Field in Grapevine.

"I've got to continue to live for them and not waste what I've been given and try to make a difference and help other veterans today," Henline said.

The 5K race is free to the public. You don't need to register.

Simply show up ready to run at 8 a.m. this Sunday at Pennington field in Bedford.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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