Born in Huntington, West Virginia, 8 year-old Rob Geer, was introduced to a pool table in a bowling alley by his father. It wasn’t long before he developed a passion for the sport – wanting to learn everything he could. In his words, “I can still remember that feeling; how the table looked; the sounds of balls falling into pockets. It was amazing.” By the time Rob was a teenager, he found himself playing up to ten hours each day, absolutely loving everything about pool.
Rob enlisted in the Army at age twenty-two, believing the military would afford him the opportunity to become a better man – and it did. Rob traveled the world and witnessed a great deal during his seventeen years of service. He experienced what many of us cannot even begin to understand – conditions and circumstances of several third-world countries; and the haunting sights and sounds of war. Rob fought for our great nation in many conflicts, including some in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On what turned out to be his last deployment to Afghanistan, Sgt. Rob Geer was on a dismounted patrol with his platoon when one of his fellow soldiers stepped on a PPIED (bomb). This, as Rob calls it, was “a moment when my life would change forever.” As Rob was bringing aid to his injured brother-in-arms, the company medic on scene, who was assisting elsewhere, stepped on another PPIED. This was the blast which devastated Rob’s body, and nearly took his life. Rob, after waking from a drug-induced 30-day coma would learn that the bomb blast had resulted in devastating injuries including two fractured legs, and a fractured pelvis (in two places). “The blast ripped my back open; blew my hip completely off; ablated the middle portion of my intestines, and disintegrated my spleen, all of this within an instant,” said Rob.
Rob would be flown to Germany, and later to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he would spend just over eighteen months and endure twenty-seven surgeries to save his life first, and then to repair his broken, wounded body.
While lying in a hospital bed, Rob contemplated his life. He was surrounded by wounded soldiers, his brothers-in-arms – some with lesser injuries and some who were more devastatingly injured than he was. He realized how easy it would be to focus on what was negative, having only darkness in his life. “As I laid there broken, it was hard for me to not get down on myself, but I knew I didn’t want the darkness to overcome me.” It was then he began searching his memories; seeking the ones which he remembered as delivering the greatest joy. Playing pool was one of those great joys.
Sgt. Rob Geer (Ret.) is very aware of the great blessing it is to overcome his injuries, and is very thankful to God - for his life and for his journey. Though it has been difficult for him, due to his injuries, he has learned many great lessons. Rob was particularly touched; his life greatly impacted, by the words of Les Brown, a motivational speaker: “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.” Rob states: “To me, those words basically sums up struggles in everybody's life. Yes, we will all experience tough times and disappointment, but that doesn’t mean we have to allow it to control or take over our lives. I will not allow this disability to define my life and I will fight every day to make it better than the day before.”
Rob has many reasons for which he is thankful; his lovely wife Angela being one of them. She is a “reason.” Getting a chance to be good again at the sport he loves in pool; to feel the same joy he did at the age of eight, when he first experienced the "amazing sights and sounds" – that’s a “reason.” Rob states emphatically that “one thing I learned through my ordeal is that without dedication and motivation, life can’t be enjoyable.” He applies that lesson to pool and is looking forward with excitement to the opportunity to learn more from Tor Lowry.
"I’m very thankful to be able to play the game and I hope in time, I can improve, and in turn help others achieve their goals as well," said Rob.
There’s not a single person on the Zero-X Team who doesn’t believe Rob will greatly improve. They believe it, not so much because they know Tor will work hard to help Rob in any ways he can, but because Rob, through his courageous journey, has already inspired them to believe in him and themselves. Their greatest hope now is that you also, will believe in, support and cheer for Rob as he begins a new journey – one for which he is destined. And, please remember to express your gratitude to Rob for his valiant service to our great nation.
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