Lance Lambert has endured many trials in his 29 years. He’s survived two tours in Iraq as a paratrooper (which required jumping out of planes and helicopters from seriously scary heights) and is currently a single parent to his six-year-old daughter, Avery. But if you asked Lambert what his life’s greatest challenge is, he’d tell you that it’s reading bedtime stories to Avery every night.
Lambert struggles with a severe stutter that he’s had ever since he can remember and he’s been in speech therapy for just as long. While he’s learned, over time, the words and consonants that trigger the stutter (“S” sounds are the most difficult), it remains a source of embarrassment. Unfortunately, when it comes to reading, Lambert has no control over which sounds or letters come next.
The veteran posted an 11-minute long video of his stutter Facebook for all of that time, Lambert struggles to sound out Aladdin to Avery (who, in the video, is unconcerned as she snuggles under her covers). After receiving positive feedback from his family, he posted it on YouTube. “I thought it would relate to other people that stutter,” Lambert told Today. Considering it’s been viewed over 89,000 times, we’d say it has!
Despite his own insecurities, Avery could care less about her Dad’s stutter. “It’s me who cares. I’ve said to her, ‘I’m sorry you have a dad who stutters. She said ‘I don’t care, Dad. It’s fine,'” explained Lambert. “I started crying and I don’t cry! That was a very personal moment for us.” In the video, Avery encourages her dad and even helps him with some of the words. She kisses his head and then proves that his stutter doesn’t bother her at all by promptly falling asleep.
But Avery’s acceptance isn’t stopping Lambert from doing everything he can to reduce his stutter. He even enrolled at a community college, to take a course that required him to partake in public speaking. “I knew that if I was going to quit, it’s probably going to be because of that class, so I just wanted to take it first,” he told Today.