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Best selling author visits McConnell

Dave Pelzer, New York Times best selling author and former Air Force boom operator, and Master Sgt. Jose Martinez, 350th Air Refueling Squadron, look at a squadron photo album during Mr. Pelzer’s visit to McConnell June 15. The author came to McConnell to talk to wing personnel and their families about leadership and person responsibility. During Mr. Pelzer’s visit, the 22nd ARW chief’s group also made him an honorary chief master sergeant. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Laura Suttles)

Dave Pelzer, New York Times best selling author and former Air Force boom operator, and Master Sgt. Jose Martinez, 350th Air Refueling Squadron, look at a squadron photo album during Mr. Pelzer’s visit to McConnell June 15. The author came to McConnell to talk to wing personnel and their families about leadership and person responsibility. During Mr. Pelzer’s visit, the 22nd ARW chief’s group also made him an honorary chief master sergeant. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Laura Suttles)

Dave Pelzer, New York Times best selling author and former Air Force boom operator, talks to wing personnel and their families about personal responsibility and finding contentment in life, while balancing work and family responsibilities. The author also+ toured the base and the 22nd ARW chief’s group made him an honorary chief master sergeant.  (Photo by Airman Justin Shelton)

Dave Pelzer, New York Times best selling author and former Air Force boom operator, talks to wing personnel and their families about personal responsibility and finding contentment in life, while balancing work and family responsibilities. The author also+ toured the base and the 22nd ARW chief’s group made him an honorary chief master sergeant. (Photo by Airman Justin Shelton)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE, Kan. -- Dave Pelzer, a four time New York Times best selling author, serves as a mentor to many people across the globe. He has written several inspirational self-help books, including autobiographies that give his readers a visualizing understanding of his past as an abused child.

He visited Team McConnell on June 15 to pass along some words of wisdom.

He is a former Air Force boom operator who spent 13 years in the military.

The author also toured different squadrons throughout the base during his visit, recollecting memories of his time spent in the 350th Air Refueling Squadron, which was formerly located at Beal Air Force Base, Calif.

Mr. Pelzer is known as an activist and spends countless time volunteering speaking and counseling schools, hospitals, children in foster care and in-service training for law enforcement. He uses his life experience as a tool to educate others.

Though calling him a motivational speaker is a mistake, his unique style of sharing his moral boosting and energetic opinions seems to captivate his audiences.

"Motivational speaker - No, I think you live by who you are, by your actions," Mr. Pelzer said.
"Whether it is speaking or speaking quietly."

"If anything, I might be inspirational," he said. "I just consider myself Dave Pelzer."

He speaks with an entertaining purpose. To share with McConnell members the binding powers people have to overcome obstacles that people face and, to simply have it stated his way, "love life."

"I am an unusual optimist" he said.

When the crowd of listeners laughs at his joking explanations of great perseverance with the personal struggles he has endured and overcome, he reminds them life is sometimes not fair.

Mr. Pelzer also shares his stories of his career path with others. He owns and operates three businesses and is in the process of editing his seventh book about "quiet leadership." Also, while working on an eighth book he is starting an international radio show that debuts in July - all while taking college classes and is learning how to play the piano.

He teaches his audiences that anyone is capable of achieving happiness in their lives. He says the little things that turn out good throughout the course of the day should be put into perspective and at the end of the day; those things can be viewed as having a great day.

He points out that everyone has problems, whether its problems with spouses or children, work, or friends. Another point he explains is how people tend to spend a lot of time focusing on trivial problems when they don't realize that there are bigger issues which affect not just a single individual but a world as a whole.

"Determination, in the darkest of skies, is where the brightest stars will be seen, he said.

Speaking quickly and charismatically, he theorizes how to "hold the line," explaining how anybody is able to survive life's tough moments.

"I believe in working hard and very intently, but I believe in having fun while you're working," he said.

He also talked to McConnell members about the importance of having a strong relationship within families, especially among military members.

"It is important to work hard, but it is important to make time for your families and spouses, he said. "It is also important to make time for yourselves as well."

Mr. Pelzer also stresses that people usually wait until they are about to embark on a life-altering experience before validating their feeling to their loved ones.. He gives the example of a servicemember who tells the people in his family how much they mean to him just prior to deployment.

Before Mr. Pelzer left McConnell, he was presented an American flag and was inducted as an honorary chief master sergeant by the 22nd ARW chief's group.

Mr. Pelzer is by all means "not a motivation speaker" in his mind. However, by inspiriting people who feel his magnetic enthusiasm inspires them to be more reflective of life's struggles, shows other how a person with so many odds stacked against him can survive and become the successful, lighthearted person who loves everyday.

"Be happy," he said. "Be happy now."