Colonel Dwyer, a Special Forces officer and a member of The Savannah Rotary, shared his thoughts on resilience and overcoming adversity. His thoughts are close to the heart. In 2006, while engaged in a firefight in the Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan, he sustained near-fatal injuries resulting in the loss of his left arm and his left eye. For his actions on the battlefield during that firefight, Colonel Dwyer was awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for combat heroism. Following his lengthy recovery, he volunteered to return to Afghanistan.
Now, 11 years after that firefight, he is the equivalent of a city mayor, responsible for the running of a major Army installation – Hunter Army Airfield — that has representatives of all five services among its tenant units.
He could have used his time to give Beaufort Rotarians an overview of his responsibilities in running Hunter, but he chose, instead, to share what he learned through his recovery: resilience and overcoming adversity.
Colonel Dwyer summarized his philosophy to three thoughts:
— Surround yourself with positive people, being the kind of person others would reach out to.
— Find your purpose in life and live it every day.
— Have a sense of humor in life.
While proud of his military accomplishments, he is more proud of his family, and especially his overcoming adversity to relearn how to play baseball with one arm so he can play with, and coach, his son.
Needless to say, Colonel Dwyer received a standing ovation from the Beaufort Rotarians.