GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – Dan Nevins had one goal when he walked into the Veterans Village: Help each person he spoke to.
He said, “I think when we do that and we share our stories with each other and we get to know who each other are. And when you can actually be a little vulnerable and be authentic then it gives permission for the other people to do the same thing.”
Nevins had every reason not to push himself to heal each day. He lost his legs in Iraq in 2004 and sustained a traumatic brain injury but he chose to rise from that by lifting others along the way.
“The real way I found to be happy is to do something for someone else and expect nothing in return and that’s what I feel like happened for me today,” said Nevins. “All these people showed up and did something for me by sharing their stories and they didn’t expect anything from me. And I’m leaving here a better person than when I came in.”
Nevins said events like these are about providing healing for everyone involved.
Larry Poole, a US Army Veteran said, “It gave me a lot of motivation. It made me feel good to know I’m somewhere he’s been. It gave me the motivation to try to become a better person.”
Tom Barnes, an Illinois Army National Guard Veteran said, “I’m proud to be part of the same organization he’s in being able to say I’m one of those guys.”
Nevins is an inspirational speaker for all he helps non-veteran groups connect and form community no matter the bond between them.