The makings of a hero

Mike - Bennington, Vermont
Entered on June 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: courage

The Makings of a Hero

What makes a hero? Is it the ability to fly? Is it a cape? Is it the appearance of invincibility? Or is it the guy who takes action by tripping the bank robber as he exits the bank? My hero’s name is Joel Howard. He cannot fly. He does not wear a cape. He is not invincible. He is my hero because he has made the choice to be in careers that put his life on the line to save the lives of strangers.

Joel is a regular guy when he is off duty, but he becomes something much greater when he puts his uniform on. He has the power to detain the man who hits his wife or the power to arrest the driver with no concerns for the others on the road. The uniform gives him the power to pass judgment and punish as he sees fit, within the law. He is the law; he has the right to say that he will give the speeder a ticket, a reduced ticket, or impart them with a warning. He also can use his authority to arrest the bank robber that the man tripped, from example in first paragraph. He can set an example to children, teens, and even adults. This includes showing that it is not cool to do illegal activities. He is not there to just stop the troubled teen because he is told to, but he is there to stop the troubled teen because he cares about that troubled teen and his loved ones.

It is a shame that people only see him as the disciplinarian who pulled them over for speeding, or who arrested their father. Others think that his sole purpose is to stop them from having “fun” and to leave their lives worse off. This is the exact opposite of his goals. His goals are to help people have safe, legal fun and to protect them from the harm of illegal activities. People get mad when he stops them for being intoxicated, but he also enjoys a beer or two at home; the only difference is that he knows when he has had enough. He is not just a sheriff’s deputy or fire chief, but he is also a devoted friend, a caring father, a loving husband, and a son. If you’re polite with him, he will be polite in return; if you want to be rude and disrespectful, then he will not show you respect and forgiveness. He does not want to be the tough cop that he has to be sometimes, but he rather just give out warnings. The problem is that people put him in the situation of having to give that ticket.

Joel also wears another heroic uniform and title. Besides having the title of Deputy Joel Howard, which goes with his black uniform and handcuffs; he also has the title of Fire Chief Joel Howard, which goes with his yellow uniform and hose. He spends most of his time wearing one or the other of these uniforms; either battling fires or battling those who make bad choices. He loves to have the power to make a positive impact in the lives of those in the community. He is a man who has devoted his life to combating crime and fires.

Joel is also an incredibly heroic fire fighter. He has saved numerous lives since he became a fire fighter. He has fought vehicle fires, like the van fire on Route 7a South and the accident in Woodford. He has even fought a fire that was fueled by HAZ-MAT materials. He has also faced a couple of chimney fires, along with a number of brush fires. He has responded to fuel spills, as to prevent the start of a fire. He is not a man who goes by the saying of, “if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Joel is my hero for several reasons. It is not because he takes advantage of the power that has been granted to him, but because he uses it with compassion and forgiveness. It is because he works within the law and upholds it. It is not because he has to go out and save people from fires and criminal activities, but because he chooses to. It is not because he does the job to get some cash, but because he has a real care for those who surround him in the community. Joel is my hero because he has devoted his life to helping the people in his community.