This War Hero is Following His Dreams & Paying it ForwardFeb 6, 2019
44-year-old Bobby Henline is a stand up comedian and aspiring restaurateur. Rewind 9 years, however, and his life looked very different. In 2007, Bobby was a soldier on his fourth deployment in Iraq when an IED blast destroyed his Humvee, killing everyone inside except him. He was left with 38% of his body burned, fractures to the bones in his face, an amputated hand, and spent two weeks in a coma.
Throughout his challenging recovery, Bobby used his sense of humor to cheer up the people surrounding him in the hospital ward. He would sing, tell jokes, and put his nurses in headlocks. His therapist made him pinkie swear that he would try stand up comedy. 44 surgeries later, and after becoming a regular on the stand up comedy circuit, Bobby has decided he wants to open a restaurant that employs and empowers fellow war veterans to support their families.
“God kept me alive for a reason. I’m trying to give back. This is a great way to do it, through empowerment and food.”
Inspired by his love for hamburgers, Bobby has chosen his direction. His favorite hamburger restaurant, Biggie’s Great Burgers and Shakes in San Clemente, California, is run by a Korean War Veteran who also wants to pay his gratitude forward to other service members. The two have become a natural partnership.
“A marine who used to come to my restaurant kept asking me to open more. He was killed on deployment. It bothered me a lot. After that, I wanted to do something for other veterans” – Richard Browne, founder of Biggie’s Great Burgers and Shakes.
Brown and Henline are to join forces and open a Biggie’s in San Antonio, where Brown’s marine friend wanted him to open a store. Brown will mentor Bobby to run it as his own, who plans to hire only veterans to run the restaurant. The last ingredient that Bobby needs to make his dream happen is funding.
Bobby launched a crowdfunding campaign through the platform GoFundMe. He raised an impressive $117,357.
“With the money raised, I will be able to secure an existing building, attain necessary equipment, get my training and get the restaurant up and running. Any money left over will be put in a fund toward supporting another veteran in getting their own restaurant up and running. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for believing in me and helping me attain my dream and lead the pathway for others.” – Bobby Henline.