By Victoria M.
“Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes; they just don't know where to look.” The late President Ronald Reagan was right. Americans have thousands of heroes right under their very noses, and they just are not aware of it.
What is a hero, anyway? Let me tell you, a hero is someone that puts others before themselves. A hero is someone that makes sacrifices that others aren’t, or never will be, aware of. They are people that fight for what is right, and the protection of those he or she loves. Our soldiers are heroes. For those of us who have never been a soldier, we cannot possibly imagine the courage it takes to be one. Our minds can’t comprehend the heroism that takes place on the battle field.
We know through history that the United States has many past heroes, from the Founding Fathers of the Revolution to those that fought in the Vietnam War. They left their homes, families, and friends; they spilled their blood, and even gave their lives at times. They did all this and more, so that their children and children’s children could live in peace and freedom. That is worthy of the title “hero.” However, these glorious heroes of the past - is it possible that they still exist? Don’t you ever doubt it! Our soldiers are still fighting to preserve our freedom, and are making the same sacrifices today; whether they are stationed here at home or abroad.
My own grandfather, Orlando M., was a helicopter mechanic in the Korean War. What is special about his fighting for America was that he was a new citizen of the United States; he was originally from Mexico. He did his part to aid his new country in the fight for freedom. Grandpa even missed the birth and next two years of his first son’s life. This son, my Uncle Joseph, later served in the army. Another uncle, Victor M., served for five years in the Navy as a boiler specialist during the Vietnam War. Although none of these relatives were ever in an actual battle, wounded by the enemy, or killed, they still did their part, no matter how little it may seem, to serve their country as they saw fit.
In addition, my family is acquainted with a gentleman that was a helicopter pilot that flew three tours in the Vietnam War. On the third, he was shot down behind enemy lines while helping rescue fellow soldiers. He fought, suffered, and lived to tell about it. I have such great respect for this man who, like many others that battled for freedom, is truly an unsung hero of America.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon in this day and age to open up our computers, or turn on the radio, only to hear the latest news that, yet again, another soldier has perished in the Middle East. Right now, the United States is at war, and how sad, but how inspiring, to know that our soldiers are daily risking their lives for the sake of you and me. In John 15:13 of the Bible it says, “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” How true that is of our soldiers; it is their love of their country and fellow citizens that they put their lives on the line everyday in the Middle East.
You and I live in a country where we can freely vote – yes, we have the hard won right to vote – and speak out publicly on matters we agree or disagree with. Too often I think we take for granted the daily routines that cost the lives of many; we can rise in the morning and lay our heads down at night without dreading that a bomb might go off; we can go to work or school, get dressed, eat, read, or simply watch TV. We can do all this and more in an atmosphere of liberty, only at the cost of the sacrifices of our gallant soldiers.
In conclusion, we as Americans have heroes all around us. People need to realize that these heroes, our soldiers, deserve to know that we, their fellow citizens, support and appreciate them. Whenever my dad comes in contact with a US soldier, veteran or active, he makes it a point to stop, shake their hand, and thank them for what they’ve done. Let us all be sure to do the same; for indeed, America still has heroes.