Everybody has a hero – a childhood hero, a professional hero, a sports hero. What makes these individuals important to us is their influence on our lives.
A teacher can encourage us to learn.
A successful business peer can light the path toward prosperity.
A baseball player can inspire us to dream.
Each of those is made possible, however, by real-life heroes – the kind whose lives are consumed with protecting our right to learn, maintaining opportunities for success, and defending our freedom to dream.
These heroes don’t wear a jersey; they don’t carry a briefcase; there’s no pencil behind their ear. Instead, of cleats, they lace up boots. Instead of filing paperwork, they’re firing weapons. And instead of lesson plans, they make battle plans.
The men and women who vow to fight for freedom around the globe are heroes at a far greater cost. Whether the sacrifice is their whole lives, or the day-to-day comforts of “normal” American life, they give their all. It’s not for rewards or recognition that they give (though they don’t get nearly enough of either one). It’s because they’ve determined that this country – and others it helps to defend – are worth it, whatever the cost.
These soldiers are strangers to me. I know very few by name. I know even less about their childhood, their goals, their dreams. But, they are responsible for mine. Their courage gives me hope, their sacrifice brings me peace. As much as I may admire an athlete, a writer, or a friend, it’s these men and women who give meaning to the word “hero.”
As Fox Sports Midwest once again honor these soldiers, I can only add my thanks and eternal gratitude for the heroism we all too often forget to recognize.
This one’s for the heroes.