Stars and Stripes Soiree Keynote Speaker
Henline is a retired Army Staff Sergeant, last serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. He spent 13 years in the Army, completing four tours. While on his fourth tour in Iraq, three weeks after his arrival, an IED exploded under his Humvee – April 7, 2007, is a day he will never forget.
The four soldiers with him did not survive. As Henline stumbled out of the wreck, a human torch, he was extinguished by the soldier he had replaced in the Humvee. With burns covering 40% of his body, fractured bones in his face, and his head burned to the skull, Henline was put into a medically induced coma for two weeks and flown back to the States.
During his initial six-month hospital stay, Bobby remained upbeat, positive, and relied on humor to get him through each day. Putting nurses in headlocks, trying to keep other wounded soldiers’ spirits up by telling them jokes, and singing a ditty over and over garnered the attention of his occupational therapist. She challenged him to go to an open mic night and try his hand at comedy, making him promise with a pinky swear. He kept his promise, and that experience started a new chapter in his life. Comedy helps Bobby keep his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks at bay, and allows him to share his story and healing with others using a positive, funny, inspirational approach.
Today, Henline continues his quest to make people laugh in a variety of venues as “The Well Done Comedian.” His professional comedy includes performances at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, Las Vegas; Laugh Factory, Chicago; and Hollywood Improv, Los Angeles, to name a few. As an actor, credits include the following movies and TV series: MBF: Man’s Best Friend, Sophie, and the Rising Sun, and Shameless.
Henline’s story and lived experiences have been featured in film, print, and electronic media, including the documentaries Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor, Healing Bobby, and Weight of Honor; on CNN, PBS KET, NPR, Today.com, and Time.com; Time Magazine, People Magazine, The Huffington Post, Guideposts, and Readers Digest; as well as television, radio, and podcasts from around the world.
His other experience includes modeling, writing poetry, and songwriting. He is currently working with an award-winning Movie Director and team to make a film about his life. Henline co-founded Bravo748 Military and Law Enforcement Speakers Bureau, an organization that invests in Veterans and First Responders who are speakers and entertainers with a mission of giving back to their communities through their experience, training, stories, comedy, music, and more. He began the Bobby Henline Foundation, dba Forging Forward, to create and host positive and meaningful experiences for veterans and first responders.
As a Motivational Speaker/Inspirational Comedian, Henline is comfortable speaking with one person or 1,000’s. He collaborates with and performs for military and military-related organizations to inspire soldiers, veterans, first responders, and their families, spreading his message of life, love, joy, and resilience; he visits middle and high schools across the country to inspire young people; and speaks at for-profit and not-for-profit organizations sharing his story of resiliency, hope, and healing.
• Healing Bobby - Red Border Films | TIME: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ag5yst6aBM
• ABC15News: 'I thought my life was over:' Iraq attack survivor expands foundation for SC veterans: https://wpde.com/news/local/i-thought-my-life-was-over-iraq-attack-survivor-expandsfoundation-for-sc-veterans
• MIGHTY 25: Combat-wounded Bobby Henline uses comedy to heal the military community: https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/combat-wounded-veteran-uses-comedy/
• The Huckabee Show: Wounded Veteran Teaches The “Burn Victim Wave” | Comedian Bobby Henline: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOxDKt6kzy0
• Forging Forward: https://forgingforward.org/