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What is a hero? Do you have a favorite? One hero that always jumps to my mind is Superman. Meek. Mild-mannered. A true gentleman. But also strong and courageous and willing to do anything for the woman he loved. The kind of hero that could pluck a kitten from the top of a tree and still manage to save the damsel tied to the railroad tracks. An old-fashioned kind of hero.

But what’s in a hero today? In a world where so many Hollywood superstars have proven themselves only too shallow and greedy, and the media all too eager to show the ugliness of mankind, I’m always on the look-out for the kind of Superman that deserves to be called a hero; to offer our youth a real life role-model.

In the wake of the terror that struck Arizona this last weekend, when a lone gunman shot and killed six beautiful people and gravely wounded his intended victim, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as well as several others, some real heroes stepped to the forefront. They didn’t claim to be heroes. They didn’t want or enjoy the instant fame the media offered them for their role. They had merely seen an opportunity to stop the carnage and help their fellow man.

Bill Badger, a retired army colonel had stopped to meet and greet Congresswoman Giffords. At the sound of gunfire, he hit the ground, only to have a bullet graze the back of his head. Despite his injury, upon seeing the gunman empty his first clip and attempt to reload, he sprang into action, followed by Roger Salzgeber. And while they fought to keep the gunman subdued, 61-year-old Patricia Maisch jumped in to keep the new clip of ammunition out of reach, preventing the attacker from claiming more lives.

In the midst of the chaotic aftermath, Daniel Hernandez, an intern for the Congresswoman, rushed to her side, setting her up and putting pressure on her wound; holding her, comforting her, until help could arrive. The news media said, because of his quick and precise actions, he is credited with saving Congresswoman Giffords’ life.

I applaud these heroes. They are my Supermen and Superwoman! They aren’t the Hollywood idols, seeking fame and glitz, they are people like you and me; people that overcame their fear in a time of need, seeing a job that needed to be done and doing it. Without their intervention that day, there surely would have been many more funerals. They are people of character. And these are the characteristics I hope to bring to my heroes in my books. Real Heroes.

Tell me about your heroes!

Thanks for joining me today.
C.K. Volnek