UPDATE: (August 10, 2015, 4:30PM EST) I was just notified that Rod’s father has passed, which makes his article, below, especially poignant. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, fellow patriot. May God Bless you and your family. ~ Thomas Madison
MY DAD… MY HERO
By Rod Eccles
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All over the world and all throughout history, humans have celebrated their heroes which includes heroes of the battlefield, heroes of the sports field, heroes of the intellectual field, heroes of the business field and even heroes of the political field. Even today we have added heroes of the entertainment field and we have heroes that portray heroes on the big and little screen. We have heroes that sing about heroes on the musical stage and we have heroes who write about real and imaginary heroes in top selling books.
The problem with all of this hero worship is we often overlook the real heroes that are right next to us. These heroes don’t often do super heroic deeds as we like to think of them because they do what needs to be done on a daily basis without regards to their own well-being. I know one of these heroes and I have lived with this hero. I have known this hero for over 50 years and he is a hero that does not have to boast. He does not reach for the limelight and he does not covet the accolades of the masses. He just does and did what he thought was the right thing to do and he did not give it a second thought.
My father was and is my greatest hero. He served his nation in the United States Air Force for over 21 years and that makes him a hero. He and my mother remained married for over 54 years and that makes him a hero because he made her happy. He participated in his community by coaching many kinds of sports and he played professional basketball in the European professional basketball league. He went back to school in his 40’s to earn his BA Degree and that to me is heroic.
The point is you have your own heroes living with you, next to you. You know of a hero that does not covet the notice of the crown and you know of a hero that does not wish to have volumes of books written about them. You know a hero that does not seek to sell his story to the big screen and you know a hero that isn’t interested in having songs sung about them. To me, these are the true heroes.
But instead of celebrating these heroes, we often overlook them and turn instead to fake heroes because they are flashy and in your face all the time. They are well rehearsed and well versed in what moves us in our hearts and minds. They talk often about “leaving a legacy” not once really thinking about how that so-called legacy will affect everyone around them. To these false heroes life and history is all about them. A true hero knows it’s not about them and the story that is being written in the heavens is not about them. It’s all about those whom they love and care about. It’s all about the human story of carrying on the human tradition of love and patience.
True heroes rarely if ever, think about themselves first. They truly work, fight and suffer for the betterment of others. True heroes wonder more about what would happen if they did NOT do the right thing verses how the press will view them and report their story. We have few heroes in our public discourse and I mean true and real public heroes. Yet we manufacture a new hero weekly and we drop old heroes because we finally understand that they were not heroes in the first place.
So we stumble forward looking for another to fill the gap and we create heroes that are sometimes not even human. They are animals, or even cartoons and we have this need for hero worship simply because we know there is something lacking inside ourselves.
But what we often fail to understand is that we truly are not lacking a hero because all we need to do is understand what a hero really is and what a hero really does. A hero is selfless and a hero is loving. A hero has fear even if they never show it and a hero is quiet, not a braggart.
My biggest and greatest American hero is MSGT Robert Eccles (Ret) and he will forever live in my heart and my mind. You have your hero as well and it’s time we as Americans, as humans, recognize the true heroes we live with each and every day and that we understand that these people are the kinds of heroes that deserve our praise.
When will we stop the madness of worshiping those who pretend to be heroes when in fact they are lying cowards. Let me be clear President Obama is not a hero, Hillary Clinton is not a hero, Tom Cruise is not a hero, and Maroon 5 are not heroes. Get my point? Its time you understand and recognize the real heroes and then go and emulate them. When we finally do that, we won’t have to worry about fake heroes because we won’t elect them and we won’t pay to see them. We will, instead, find those that emulate true heroes and raise them to be leaders of men.
I told you who my hero is. Now, who is your real hero?