Following the lines

Author and Avonworth graduate Dave Moore and wife Kendal, along with his support team, Montana, Fritzy and Chewey. Kendal designed the cover of the paperback version of Dave’s book and helps him maintain his Web site.

"As I sat at my high school graduation, listening to our class valedictorian speak about the lines on the wall, I looked around and wondered how the 69 of us would turn out. Truly a magical number for a public high school graduating class those days, a public high school in the suburbs of a major city, at that. Christina, the valedictorian, was obviously speaking metaphorically about the mortar lines that ran through the bricks of our high school walls. As we choose different paths in our lives, she said, our choices dictate how we end up. At any crossroad you have a minimum of two options; the path we choose leads us to the next decision. No matter how big or small they seem at the time, these choices ultimately will be responsible for the most important thing: Are we or are we not happy with ourselves?"

from “Lines along the Wall,” by Dave Moore

If fellow classmates in Avonworth High School's Class of 1992 had been asked to predict who, among them, would be most likely to author a book offering advice about finding personal direction and meaning in life, Dave Moore probably would have been close to the bottom -- or maybe at the bottom -- of the list. A self-proclaimed cut-up who never did anything really bad, but never did anything outstandingly well, either, Dave had skated by with his endearing smile, his friendly personality, his football skills. Doing schoolwork or anything serious was happily replaced with -- as he candidly admits -- partying, chasing the girls, hanging out with buddies.

That lifestyle followed him to Bethany College, where he studied computer science until he returned home following a football injury in his sophomore year. During the summer after high school graduation, he had earned his pilot's license from Community College of Beaver County. "I went back to Community College of Beaver County, starting spring semester of 1994 and continuing in the summer and fall of 1994 before getting accepted to Ohio University Russ College of Engineering in the spring semester of 1995."

And then a life-changing event occurred along the way. Dec.17, 1997, to be specific. Taking off from Steubenville airport on a flight training session with a doctor onboard as his student, Dave's plane struck a deer, puncturing a large hole in the right wing, and then the body flew back and took off the right horizontal stabilizer, abruptly redirecting the flight path of the airplane to the right, and then into a nosedive from about 200 feet.

"I did not even know that we had hit a deer until after things settled down in the hospital and I saw it on the news. They had found parts of the airplane, as well as the deer carcass and head on the runway," Dave recalls.

Both Dave and his passenger survived, much to the amazement of the National Transportation Safety Board investigator, who bluntly said to him, "I have investigated hundreds of accidents and there is no reason you should be alive right now." He added, "I don't know if you believe in God or not, but somebody is definitely looking over you."

He recovered, graduated from Ohio University with an engineering degree, and enlisted in the Coast Guard in 2001, earning his commission as an ensign in 2002 when he was sent to Pensacola, FL to Navy Flight School. He earned his Naval Wings in 2003, after which he was assigned to fly the HU-25 Guardian Jet for the Coast Guard, originally based out of Miami. He eventually earned a slot with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, 171 Air Refueling Wing, flying the KC135 in 2010. With the Guard, he has deployed three times in three years, once to the Pacific Theater in Guam and twice to fight the war in the Middle East, where late one night he was inspired to write "Lines along the Wall" after returning from a combat sortie.

That inspiration came as another "sign from above" described in his book, which was written over this past summer and published in October.

Now available from Amazon as an e-book or as a paperback, the book harkens back to Dave's memory of his high school graduation and the speech made by his class president. Totally autobiographical, Dave also reveals his belief of why he survived the crash which, ironically, occurred on the 94th anniversary of the first successful Wright brothers' flight at Kitty Hawk.

I wrote 'Lines along the Wall' to show people never to give up and to help them take their personal downfalls or troubles in life and turn them into positives. I show how I took post-traumatic stress and healed it, creating post-traumatic growth, taking a negative and turning it into a positive," Dave said.

Dave left the military this past December and is currently flying for Channellock Tools, working on his second book, and, with his wife, Kendal, maintaining his inspirational blog,

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