Speaker Dan Nevins Shares Incredible Story Of Courage And Healing During LDW
Life hasn’t been easy for Dan Nevins, a double amputee war veteran, who left an indelible imprint of courage and resilience on his audience during this morning’s opening general session at the PPAI Leadership Development Workshop. Despite his severe wounds suffered while serving in Iraq, it was the way his life unfolded afterwards which caused Nevins to tell his audience that he would not change a thing and has no regrets. Instead, he is grateful for life in a way he never imagined.
Nevins grew up in a tough neighborhood as a latchkey kid who desperately wanted a family like the ones he saw on TV. He enlisted in the U.S. Army before he even graduated from high school and spent eight years of peacetime service stateside, went to college, became a stockbroker, then went into pharmaceutical sales, married and became a father. Then 9/11 happened. In 2004, Nevins, who had previously reenlisted in the California Army National Guard, was deployed to Iraq for 18 months. During that difficult time, his marriage failed and his life was forever changed when the vehicle he was riding in was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED) during a morning combat mission. He lost one leg in the blast and the other was critically damaged. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury and faced some of the darkest days of his life.
Nevins underwent more than 30 surgeries and spent years in the hospital before finding healing and emotional support through the Wounded Warrior Project and a new calm through yoga. He went on to found the Warrior Spirit Retreat and is a Tier 3 Certified Baptiste Yoga Influencer who encourages people from all walks of life—especially veterans—to take up the practice. He is also the Basecamp Brand Ambassador for supplier Sweda’s line of products of which a percentage of proceeds are designated to support the Warrior Spirit Retreat.
“If I could rewind time and go back, I wouldn’t change a single thing,” he said, adding how his healing based on practicing and teaching yoga gave him an epiphany he had never felt before. “I felt a connection to the earth and had never felt so alive and powerful.” He set out to share his experience with others in need of the same healing. Basecamp gave him a platform for his passion.
“You have this opportunity to change the world,” he said. “What are you passionate about? Those are the things that wind up changing the world.”