Burned in the War

Burned in the War

A roadside bomb in Iraq left Bobby Henline's face and body disfigured by burns, and his dreams shattered. Here's how he maintains a positive outlook.

Staff Sgt. Bobby Henline was the only survivor when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Iraq. He was severely burned on 38 percent of his body and doctors couldn’t believe that he had survived. Henline’s face is now terribly disfigured. Holes remain where his ears once were, only one eye functions and his mouth and teeth are damaged. As he puts it, he was burned down to the skull.

This NPR video introduces the viewer to a man filled with strength and grace in spite of his disfiguring injuries. Henline says it is difficult looking in the mirror, but on the inside he still feels like the same crazy guy he ever was, and he jokes about looking forward to playing with the prosthetic ears he’ll be getting in a future surgery. Interviews with Henline and his wife, and photographs of his life before and since the bombing, round out this story.

While some of his dreams are now broken, Henline says he has new dreams, and maybe bigger and better dreams, as a result of the tragedy.

Length: 3:28

Producer: John W. Poole
Co-producer: Terry Gildea
Senior Producer: Keith Jenkins