Melvin Kearney, U.S. Army Veteran

U.S. Army Veteran, Melvin Kearney, talks about how seeing a fellow veteran go through the Dale Carnegie Course inspired him to take it too.

Before & After Taking the Dale Carnegie Course

It’s going to teach how to really stretch your comfort zone and add enthusiasm to your stories.

Before: I would stand up, I write out my speech, and I look directly at my paper and I would say, (awkwardly) “Hey, my name is Mel…Melvin Kearney…”

After: And now, because the of Dale Carnegie course, I can set my speech to the side, and say, “Hi, my name is Melvin Kearney!” I have more confidence. Instead of just saying, “I was walking down the road.”  Now it’s, “I was walking down the road!” Look at me, walking down the road!

Now, when I’m telling my story people can feel the wind. They can feel the rain when I’m telling my story because I have so much enthusiasm and excitement when I’m telling my story. I could never do that before Dale Carnegie.

Though my 13 week course with Dale Carnegie, I tell you what, it change my life.

Halfway Through College, “You’re Going to Iraq”

My name is Melvin Kearney and I’m from Tarboro, North Carolina.

Halfway through college, my sophomore year in college, I’m walking to class and my phone rings. Huh, it’s the army. I said, “Hey, before you guys get started, I know what you’re going to say. If this is about my pay, one weekend a month.” He said, “No Kearney, you’re about to go Iraq.” I’ve never heard of Iraq North Carolina. “No funny man, Iraq over seas. Get your stuff together. You’re going to Ft. Brad then you’re going to Iraq.” I was told, “You’re going with 11 32nd. 122 of you guys in the company.

We went over there and deployed in South Baghdad in Iraq.

The name of the base was given the nickname “Rocket Field” because we got hit four or five times a day by incoming rockets. 122 of us went over there. 34 guys were severely wounded. 5 guys, my battle buddies, killed in action.

After that, I realized, you know what? It’s not about me, it’s about helping others. How are these guys that were severely wounded going to be taken care of?

On Returning Home & Meeting With a Fellow Veteran

I met with a guy, he comes in and was really reserved. I said, “Where are you from? Where were you at in Iraq?” “Baghdad.” “Huh, me too. What base?” “Fort Russel Myer.” “Me too!”

We slowly developed a strong, working relationship. All of a sudden he says, “Kearney, I’m thinking about taking this Dale Carnegie course.” I was like, “Really? You’re going to be stretching your comfort zone, stay with it.” Halfway through the course he said, “Kearney, I’m going to quit, I don’t know about this.” He was really reserved, always wore his hat. I said, “Well, stick with it.”

Seeing A Friend Graduate from the Dale Carnegie Course

6 Weeks Later… He said, “Kearney! Come to my graduation, man! I got so many friends in my class. You have to come to my graduation. Kearney, you got to meet all the cool people; we’re telling great stories!” I was like, “whoa, what happened??”  This is a new guy!  All of a sudden, I go to his graduation and they yell his name to come to the front so he runs down to the front.

He’s telling his story from start to finish. I couldn’t do nothing but cry.  I was speechless because I knew where he started and I know where he’s at now. Describing everything he went through, using his hands. I’m like, oh my God. My heart was racing, I said, “I got to get a piece of it.” So, I decided to take the Dale Carnegie course.