find the noise speaker series
Demonstrating the triumph of the human spirit, retired Sgt. First Class Dana Bowman, told his harrowing story of how he suffered loss, but managed to “climb back up that mountain” during his presentation of “It’s Not the Disability, It’s the Ability” Jan. 25 in Cowley College’s Robert Brown Theatre.
Bowman’s presentation was part of Cowley College’s “Find The Noise” speaker series. His talk capped three days of speaking engagements in the Arkansas City community. He also skydived into a few local schools.
Skydiving is a big part of Bowman’s life and always has been. While in the military, Bowman was a Special Forces Soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights. Bowman is a double amputee. He lost his legs in an accident during the annual Golden Knights training in Yuma, Arizona, in 1994.
However, he did not let the accident deter him from achieving his goals. He worked hard, and nine months later, he turned this tragedy into a triumph when he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army. This achievement is just one example of Bowman’s many successes under adverse circumstances.
Bowman retired from the United States Army in 1996. He received his bachelor’s degree in commercial aviation from UND Aerospace in Grand Forks, North Dakota in May of 2000.
During his presentation he showed a video that told of his time with the Golden Knights and also showed other members of the U.S. Army that have lost arms or legs, but not let the disability deter them.
He told the audience “everyone has a disability, that disability is focusing on the things you can’t do.”
He told the audience to focus on the things they can do.
“You can recover from anything,” Bowman said. “I wouldn’t change anything that happened to me. I love what I do, I love helping people.”
Bowman spends a great deal of his personal time working with other amputees and disabled or physically challenged people. He also spends time at different military hospitals helping the wounded soldiers during the current world situation. He enjoys visiting patients at numerous healthcare facilities while on the road speaking.
He also flies with one of the biggest manufacturers of helicopters, which is Bell Helicopter Textron, and is working with NASA by giving motivational talks to the astronauts.
He concluded his presentation by thanking the audience and telling them “may all of your days be blue and your nights golden.”