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Seven months after a horrific motorcycle crash left rider Julius Rogers nearly lifeless on the pavement, the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) Public Works Department (PWD) employee gave a poignant safety brief.

At PWD’s annual get-together with cookout food and a live band, Rogers spoke before a crowd of his colleagues and senior military leaders giving details of his ordeal while stressing the life-saving value in using the right safety equipment when riding a motorcycle.

“First, I want to thank you all for coming to the hospital. I might look normal today, but on September 14, my face was smashed, every bone in my face was broken. I looked like somebody beat me down 10 times. I broke my neck in three places. I had to speak through my trachea for three months and I had a neck brace on for two months,” he said.

Rogers held up the jacket and biker jeans emergency responders had to cut through to get at his injuries. His, helmet, however, was untouched with no marks and no scratches. He held it up to underline the fact that his decision not to wear it was nearly fatal.

“What I am trying to stress here is, I see kids out here dressed like I am today with tee-shirts and shorts on and riding a 1,000 or 600 cc bike, that’s not safe. You have to buy this stuff [a helmet, motorcycle jacket, gloves etc.], it may be expensive, but I am telling you, you have to buy it,” he said.

Rogers said he was in and out of consciousness and suffered a stroke and seizure while recovering at the hospital.

He was not fully aware of the seriousness of his condition.

“When I woke up they could have told me I lost my legs or I was paralyzed. I had no idea of the gravity of my injuries. All because I was showing off,” he said.

He concluded his briefing by urging all in attendance to be mindful of their individual safety.

“Safety starts with you. Whether riding a motorcycle or with anything you are driving, it is on you,” he said.