Just Living The Dream: Captain David Berling's Story
Start writing a post
Relationships

Just Living The Dream: Captain David Berling's Story

Get ready for some serious perspective gaining.

87
Just Living The Dream: Captain David Berling's Story
Missy Berling

There are certain stories that put things in perspective and, in all honesty, put you back in your place. There are certain stories that change your life. There are certain stories that have to be shared. This story, the story of my Aunt Missy and her husband David, is one of those stories.

Some Background

On the night of April 29, 2007, while an active duty Air Force Captain, David Berling was in a private plane crash in Los Angeles, California. He was the only person on board. LA County firefighters, paramedics, and sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene within minutes and were surprised to find David alive. The team stabilized David as he hung upside-down in his aircraft and prayed for the best when an ambulance whisked him away to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Ultimately, David suffered multiple injuries requiring the amputations of both legs above the knee. Two months and 28 surgeries later, David was finally able to return home.

That's the official story but believe me, there is so much more there. What's missing from that telling is my aunt finding out and families racing out to LA for support. More humorously, the family finding out that Missy and David were actually married for about a year before the accident but never told anyone.

The Years After

David learned to walk, to run, to drive, to do nearly everything he used to do. As everyone in my family knows, David doesn't just do things, he does things better than everyone else and he truly has proven that time and time again with his determination and his amazing humor about it all. Not many people can laugh about a situation like this, but Missy and David find the humor and the good in everything, including this.

I was only 9 when the accident happened, but the details are burned into my mind because Missy and David, along with David's father Kim, wrote a book, "Just Living the Dream: No Way Out But Through" in 2013. I read it all in one day and cried and laughed all over again.

David asked if he made the news, and we told him the story was all over the news in California the first day.
"I guess I'm a pretty cool guy," he said.
"Yes, David, the coolest."
-Just Living the Dream

David has spoken at many schools, hospitals and meetings, sharing his story in the hopes that it will help someone else, I have no doubt that it has.

David took up handcycling and quickly began excelling in the sport. Remember when I said David does everything better than anyone else? That was no joke.

Present Day (2017)

Let me tell you something, Life loves cruel irony.

On January 17th, 2017, while training on his handcycle, David was hit by a car, breaking 8 ribs in the process. When I heard about this and that he was going to be okay, I couldn't help but laugh. How do I explain this to my friends at college. "Okay to start, just so you know, my uncle is okay, but he was in a plane crash 10 years ago and has no legs and he was just hit by a car."

Do you understand how crazy that sounds? The answer is very, very crazy.

Well, Life, the jokes on you, if a plane can't stop David, a car sure as hell won't. And it didn't. David (figuratively) brushed the dirt off and (literally) got back on the bike.

Missy and David have been all over the country for cycling races and everyone was just waiting for the latest time to be announced, always hoping for a record. They've gone to Begium and Italy to compete and it's honestly the most inspiring thing I have ever witnessed.

Ready for the best part?

David was just selected to be a part of the US Paralympics Cycling team and is going to the World Championships in South Africa later this summer!

Recap

2006- Just a normal guy.

2007- A normal guy, two above the knee amputations and multiple surgeries and lots of uncertainty ahead.

2017- A normal guy, two above the knee amputations, hit by car and Paralympian.

If that isn't perspective setting freaking inspiration, I don't know what is.

For more information about Captain David Berling and his story, visit https://www.facebook.com/TheBerlingDream/

Check out the book, discover the story, watch as he kicks ass at life and in the World Championships.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

The Blessing of Lacking Sex Appeal

To all the fellow non "it" girls out there

488
kozepsuli.hu

Lacking sex appeal is not a desirable thing. It makes you fee not ugly, but wrong. Not having charisma is not a life goal. It doesn't make you fee friendless, but isolated. Not being the "it" girl happens, and tonight (and every nigh prior to this)

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Confessions From the Single Friend of the Group

It is truly the worst place to be

3483
Confessions From the Single Friend of the Group

Look. If you are anything like me, complaining about being single is such a hard thing to because you are genuinely happy for your friends, but as they continue to be happy in their relationships, the ever crushing weight of being the single friends can become overwhelming. For context, my primary friend group consists of four people. We are all roommates and it is a great time here. All three of my roommates have boyfriends/girlfriends, which makes our friend group of four quickly jump to seven, and it is wonderful! I love my roommates so much and I love their S.O's, but no matter how much I love them I always get extremely jealous and sad. The sad thing is that the only part that ever truly ends up bugging me is that since I am single, they are my go-to top priorities and it has been really hard to watch myself slip from the top of their go-to's to not being their go to when they feel the weight of the world. What makes it harder is that expressing that I feel alone and unwanted makes me sound jealous and like I don't want my friends to hangout with their people. I get it. I do. But there are just days I want to be someone's first pick and I'm not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Aretha Franklin Will Forever Be A Detroit Legend, I'm Proud To Share A Hometown With Her

Aretha Franklin lost her battle to pancreatic cancer, so we stop to reflect on her powerful journey.

5784
Aretha Franklin Will Forever Be A Detroit Legend, I'm Proud To Share A Hometown With Her

Recently, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away. Ms. Franklin grew up singing in her church's choir in Detroit. Over the years, she decided to make singing a career, first signing to Columbia Records at 18. Years later, she signed with Atlantic Records where her most powerful tunes, such as "Respect," are remembered to this day. Her breathtaking vocals earned her 18 Grammy Awards and made her one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Life Before Emancipation

Contraband Camps in Harpers Ferry

7049

When the Civil War first broke out, the United States Army sought to preserve the Union, and did not have intentions on interfering with the institution of slavery in the rebellious states. In fact, in his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln promised not to interfere with slavery in the places where it already existed. Of course, at the time of this address, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee had yet to secede, so he needed to keep a moderate stance. When the U.S. Army moved into states in rebellion, generals ensured civilians that they would not interfere with slavery, and would even hep quell potential uprisings. On May 22, 1861, this attitude towards slavery began to change. Prior to then, slaves who escaped into Union lines could be returned to their masters. In some cases, troops with more abolitionist leanings would aid the runaways, but it was not yet the norm. However on May 22, three runaway slaves approached Fort Monroe along the James River seeking refuge. The slaves stated that they were about to be sent South to work on the Confederate coastal defenses in the Carolinas. Instead of returning the slaves to their masters, the commander of the fort, Benjamin Butler, claimed the slaves were contraband of war and put them to work in support of the United States. He wrote Winfield Scott, general-in-chief of all federal armies, "Shall [the enemy] be allowed the use of this property against the United States and we not be allowed its use in aid of the United States?" Following Butler's actions, 900 more slaves would gather in Fort Monroe. Congress would back Butler's stance with the First Confiscation Act in August of 1861.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Juneteenth: The Overlooked 'Independence Day'

If we can't celebrate different types of people and rejoice with them in their season of glee and jubilation, then what kind of "land of the free" is this, anyway?

3742
News Desk

I want to begin this article by saying that I was raised to be about as patriotic as it gets. I was born and bred in the "Bible belt" where we learned to say "thank you for your service" before we could even comprehend what those words truly meant. My father is a highly respected and high-ranking Houston firefighter, and he is following in the footsteps of three prior generations of Houston firefighters within our direct lineage. My maternal grandfather served in the U.S. Army, and I have multiple family members and personal friends who have served and/or are currently serving in our nation's military. And lastly (probably most important), my husband is currently serving as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, as well. So I think it goes without saying that I have the utmost admiration and respect for public servants and first responders of all kinds.

I love our nation's military and I love this nation. But I am not a blind patriot with my head stuck in the sand. I will always support our troops, but I will very rarely support the ugly wars that we fight (both literal and figurative) across national borders and/or within our own walls.

I will be the first person to admit that this great nation in which we love so dearly is filled with hatred, ugly politics, extreme corruption and institutionalized oppression and racism (just to name a few). I love America and I am grateful that I live here, but I am not blind to America's obvious flaws.

War and political nonsense aside though, I think it is worth noting that America is already great, but let's not be ignorant, America is certainly not the "land of the free" for every race, religion and sexual orientation out there. So let's stop treating it as such. The sooner we can recognize our legitimate internal problems, the better off we will be. Our gullibility is getting us nowhere.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments