Good Day World!
Simply defined, a hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
My definition of a hero has evolved over the span of sixty-four years.
My earliest hero was Davy Crockett, as portrayed by Fess Parker on the Walt Disney Show. My Dad bought me a coonskin hat and a wooden replica of a cap-and-ball pistol that was the hot seller in toy stores in the early 1950s.
It wasn’t long before Davy was replaced with Audie Murphy, a WW II hero that went into the movies after the war was over. He was the most decorated combat veteran in the war.
Up until I was about 10 years-old, my hero’s all centered around WW II. My dad was a Marine stationed in the Pacific theater. My uncle was killed fighting in the Philippines. But it was the Hollywood hero's who captured my attention.
As I struggled through my preteens, my hero’s were baseball, basketball, and football players. Mickey Mantle and Jerry West weren’t just hero’s, they were gods.
When I entered my teens the world was reshaped. My new hero’s were Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. Credence Clearwater Revival and The Animals along with other fantastic rock groups also became my hero’s.
I wanted to be the next Bob Dylan or Woodie Gruthrie.
Then I turned 19 and went to Vietnam. Fighting for survival left me little time for hero’s. My best friend and I were ambushed in Cambodia in May of 1970. He was killed and I survived. Rogers was a hero. He always had my back.
After getting married in 1974 and having kids, I didn’t have time to ponder on who my hero’s were.
When my three sons grew up and went about their lives I began reflecting on all of my life experiences – and discovered something special:
My hero is/and always was my Dad. I just finally figured it out.
After raising three sons I understand him now better than ever. His good heart, intelligence, ability to adapt to any situation, and unconditional love makes him a real hero in my book.
Time for me to walk on down the road…