This I Believe

Andrea - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

There are very few heroes in the world we live in. One can not merely label oneself a hero. Other than be referred to one. Nevertheless, a majority of people use the word too freely; leaving the word meaning less. Not just anybody can be called a hero. A hero is developed over time, with knowledge, understanding and courage; stands up for a cause, risks his life to save others, goes further then the call of duty. Doesn’t second guess him self in a time of crises, but does what needs to be done. When given the opportunity to publicize his story turns it down. He doesn’t do acts of kindness to get noticed, but for the end result of knowing he made a difference to someone.

Many might think they know what it takes to be a hero, however the keyword is think. Not a soul does till the moment arises. One might be trained to defend, yet not react when needed. Some can’t even make it through rigid and vigorous training. Given that heroes don’t like to talk about themselves, let me do it for a hero I know. I won’t mention his name, just his story well at least the parts I can mention. Just when I thought I knew him, he opened this whole new side to me. I felt a deep and heart felt understanding for him. I’m not trying to say I understand his true feelings but somewhat of them. His heroism started off as a young innocent boy. In grade school, nonetheless, when his little sister ran up to him crying, with spots of blood dripping down her head, from a result of a bully hitting her head up against a palm tree. A minute later the bully was going through the same situation. He finally stopped when the nuns pulled him off the boy. Yes, I did mention nuns; I forgot to mention they attended a catholic school. Needless to say the bully was good after that.

Later on when he entered high school, he was entrusted to take care of his cousin. He was to be his protector you can say. His cousin was the type of guy to let his mouth run. He didn’t care if the guys were three times his size. The hero in this case bailed him out of about a dozen or so fights. He tried to avoid the fights, by talking to the guys. Yet the guys didn’t want to listen. He was pretty much forced into it, which gave him a terrible image of being a trouble maker. Well after two years of getting into trouble for his cousin it stopped. His cousin transferred schools. Throughout those two years he never mentioned his agreement with his uncle to anybody. Saw it has his duty to protect his cousin and nothing else. He didn’t limit his protection to his cousin but to other kids, who couldn’t stand up for themselves as well.

After high school he went on to better things, the “army”; to protect and serve his country one can say. He gave up five years of his life to it. He went over seas, where he saw and did things he will have nightmares about for the rest of his life. He did things no man should have to do. That will take the rest of his life to try and correct it.

One day he was beaten up to the point of not getting back up. Afterward he knew that would be the last time something could get him that down. He bounced back up stronger than ever; with a will to keep going further in his life, to do well. When he talks about his time overseas, I can see the pain in his eyes. When I’m around him I get a sense of how much he values life and follows a peaceful path. Ever day to him is a day to correct the wrongs he once did. A chance to change what he was ordered to do and thought was wrong.

He doesn’t like to be called a hero. Even though he has risked his life to save others, after putting his life into harm’s way does, he not think he deserves to be called a hero. This all the more makes him a hero, a selfless one at that. A hero doesn’t choose it, but is destined to be one.